Cop gets kidney from stranger

Posted: Updated:
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Mike Newman is recovering from his kidney transplant surgery, something he didn’t think would be possible at one point. Mike was on dialysis for more than a year and needed a donor.

“My sister didn’t match. My other sister wasn’t healthy enough, and my own son didn’t match,” said Newman.

The retired police sergeant and 20-year veteran of the Bullhead City Police Department had complete kidney failure in August of 2011 because of years of high blood pressure. He was surviving on dialysis, but was put on the donor transplant list.

He was one of more than 1,700 Arizonans in need of a kidney transplant.

Someone at the police department got wind of Newman’s situation, and emailed dozens of people asking for help.

One of those people was Kellie Boff, who is a member of the Bullhead City Chamber of Commerce, but had never met Newman.

“I just felt like I was supposed to do it,” said Boff.

Boff went through testing at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix to determine if she was a match for Newman.

“It was something bigger than both of us, I believe, because it just worked so well,” she said.

Boff was a match, and decided to move forward and donate her kidney to Newman.

“When I got to the cross match, I thought, I better let my husband know,” she said.

Boff’s family and friends expressed some concerns about the surgery.

“Somebody said at some point that God gave you two kidneys for a reason,” she said, “…but how do you know it wasn’t to share with a friend?”

The surgery was performed last week at the Mayo Clinic. Boff said she feels fine after the surgery.

Newman said he has a new lease on life, and a friend for life.

“It doesn’t get any better than her,” he said. “She’s my family now. Or maybe I’m hers since I have part of her in me.”