WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami) — A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy donated one of her kidneys, to save the life of a department employee she’d known for years.
Heidi Grob performing light household chores on Monday. Just days earlier, the Sheriff’s 911 dispatch supervisor was in surgery in Miami, getting a new kidney.
“It’s a perfect kidney,” said Grob. “She gave me the perfect kidney.”
Grob’s kidneys were damaged years ago, at age 11, while undergoing cancer treatment.
Grob said in the past year her condition grew worse, and she was getting closer to needing a new kidney and dialysis.
Quickly Grob’s own family members were ruled out as donors, so she went to her Sheriff’s Office family.Thirty-five people came forward. Eventually, after several rounds of testing, it was determined Deputy Michele Shaffer, an airport K-9 handler, was the perfect match.
“I was covering Donald Trump leaving on Sunday,” after the visit by China’s president, said Deputy Shaffer.
The next day, she and Grob, went through the kidney transplant procedures in Miami.
“That’s Michele, in all of her awesomeness,” said Grob, who added Deputy Shaffer was the star of the story.
“The first time I got to see her (after the surgery),” Shaffer recalled, “Totally different. The skin color was back to normal, a smile (was) on her face, (she) wouldn’t stop talking.”
“I don’t have the words to thank her, but it’s all in my heart,” said Grob. “It’s in my family’s heart.”
“Every time I see her, give her within two minutes, she starts crying,” said Deputy Shaffer.
The deputy said she was only in pain for a couple of days.
Both women said they strongly encourage others to become kidney and organ donors.