LOS ANGELES – Two deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) who started off as mentor and student said they now consider themselves brothers after one volunteered and donated his kidney to the other, reported LASD Media.
Deputy Kevin Ay first met Sergeant Darrin Offringa in July 2010, three years before Ay was diagnosed with renal failure.
Offringa spent three months as Ay’s field training officer. Later, Ay assumed Offringa’s old beat when he was moved to another unit.
Their paths crossed again when after receiving dialysis Ay returned to work as a training officer at Lakewood Station, where Offringa was working the same position, according to the LASD.
Offringa was promoted and moved to another station but checked in on Ay’s health regularly.
Once the two discovered they were the same blood type, Offringa said that he felt compelled to help Ay and asked to be considered as a donor.
Ay was hesitant to accept, but Offringa and his family had already pledged their support. According to LASD, the operation took place Nov. 29, 2016 in a successful four-hour surgery as Offringa donated his left kidney to his friend, and protege.
This act of compassion and humanitarianism solidified a deeper level of bond between them. “I always considered Darrin as a mentor; now he’s my brother,” Ay said.
When asked about his thoughts on the profoundness of his organ donation, Darrin modestly replied, “I’m just honored and humbled by the experience and to have helped a good friend.”
Feature photo Deputy Kevin Ay and Sergeant Darrin Offringa.