A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy will donate part of his liver to a fellow deputy later this week in hopes of saving his sick friend’s life, the two announced at a news conference Tuesday.
Deputy Jorge Castro, a 14 year veteran working at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility, was diagnosed with a failing liver and told he would need a transplant after treatments were unsuccessful, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department stated in a news release.
With none of his family members being a match, doctors told Castro it would be extremely difficult to find a donor.
Castro was placed on a waiting list following his January 2014 diagnoses, but by 2015 his disease had progressed and he still had no prospects for a donor, he said.
One day while Castro was on a treadmill at the facility’s gym, Deputy Javier Tiscareno came up and asked him how he was doing.
Castro told him things were fine but Tiscareno said he could tell something was wrong.
He eventually told Tiscareno he was in need of a liver donor but could not find one.
“He said, ‘I should be dead by the end of the year,’ so that was unacceptable to me,” Tiscareno said.
Tiscareno told Castro he would be his donor.
“The words I will never forget was when he told me ‘I am not going to go to a funeral knowing I could have helped,'” Castro said.
Tiscareno, a department veteran of 18 years, got tested and turned out to be a perfect match.
“I consider the members of this department as well as the law enforcement community my extended family,” Tiscareno said.
Castro and Tiscareno are scheduled to undergo the partial transplant surgery at 8 a.m. Thursday.
“I still get tears because now he’s giving me a second life, for me to be with my wife and with our two boys,” Castro said.