Independence Police Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans, an organ donor, was shot and killed in the line of duty Wednesday. Springfield Police Officer Mark Priebe, who needed a new kidney after a severe injury last year, received Madrid-Evan’s kidney three days later.
“I am forever grateful to Officer Madrid-Evans and his family for providing this direct donation,” Priebe said. “I truly believe God had His hand in this and it’s been difficult to comprehend why I am allowed to continue to live, and this young, brand new officer had to pay the ultimate sacrifice. I hope that I can honor him and his family by the way I live my life.”
Madrid-Evans had just begun his career with the department earlier this year at age 22.
Priebe, who served with the Springfield Police Department for 21 years, was paralyzed after being pinned by a car in the headquarters parking lot last June; another officer who responded to the incident was awarded the Missouri Medal of Valor earlier this month. Priebe began dialysis earlier this year to supplement the use of his kidney.
The Priebe family traveled to St. Louis for the surgery on Sept. 18, recognized as National Thank a Police Officer Day.
“We are still emotional from this whole situation, as you can imagine, and this is part of our journey that you cannot make up,” Priebe’s wife, Heather, said. “Mark has once again been given a second chance, thanks to a member of our thin blue line family. We hope we have the opportunity to meet Officer Madrid-Evans’ family in the near future and we pray for them as they navigate through the days ahead.”
Madrid-Evans was “excited to be out in the community, was eager to help, and always had a smile on his face,” according to his fellow officers.
Featured image depicts Independence Police Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans on the left and Springfield Police Officer Mark Priebe on the right.
Cameron Gerber studied journalism at Lincoln University. Prior to Lincoln, he earned an associate’s degree from State Fair Community College. Cameron is a native of Eldon, Missouri.
Contact Cameron at firstname.lastname@example.org.