Springfield officer Mark Priebe receives kidney transplant from fallen Kansas City-area officer
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - An officer killed in the line of duty in Independence, Mo. donated his kidney to Springfield Officer Mark Priebe.
Fallen Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans was an organ donor. Madrid-Evans was shot and killed in the line of duty on September 15.
A driver struck Priebe with his SUV on June 9, 2020, while responding to a situation outside of the Springfield Police Department headquarters. Priebe suffered serious injuries that left him paralyzed from the waist down, including multiple rib fractures and a spinal cord injury. The issue with his kidney dates back before the incident at police headquarters, but Priebe says the spinal cord injury worsened his kidney condition, causing them to fail. He started dialysis a few months ago.
On Saturday, Priebe received a kidney transplant at a St. Louis hospital. His wife Heather tells us he is doing well, has minimal pain and is ready for real food. He’s currently on a liquid diet, but doctors say say everything looks good following the transplant.
“We know God was watching over me, and we pray for the family that, where the donation came from,” said Officer Priebe in a video from his hospital room. “We’re thinking of them as we go about our days each day now too. They gave me a second chance to be healthier, and live even longer than I was supposed to before. But, love everybody. Keep praying that we heal and there’s no complications and no rejections of the kidney and we can just keep moving forward.”
KY3 spoke with Priebe in a Zoom interview Monday afternoon about receiving his new kidney. “I think that’s probably the hardest thing for me to soak in is, I get to live, and I’ve already lived til 46 years old and done my career,” says Priebe, “And he [Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans] was just trying to get started, and he’s already gone from us. And that’s where it’s hard for me to really truly understand that. And I just have to put my faith in God and not look for all the answers and just trust in him that there’s purpose and a reason behind it all.”
Priebe says he is grateful for such a gift and for all the prayers and support he and his family are receiving.
“This is not a human thing,” Priebe said. “This is definitely a God thing. There’s no question in it whatsoever.”
Throughout 2020, Priebe spent months in a Colorado hospital for rehabilitation. He remains employed with the Springfield Police Department on workmen’s compensation.
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