MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - She serves and protects, delivers babies and now one Memphis police officer can add life-saving kidney donor to the list of accomplishments.
Memphis police officer Melanie Medlock was honored last month for saving the life of an infant she delivered in a Raleigh parking lot. Now she's recovering from her most recent life-saving event, a kidney donation. The officer never thought twice about giving a piece of herself to a life-long friend.
The heart is one of the few organs you can feel, it's the one that symbolizes love. Not much thought is given to the kidney, unless you've spent your entire life knowing one day you would need one.
"Ever since I was born I've been going to the doctor two times a year," said Nick Wehmeyer, who suffers from Alport syndrome, a rare, hereditary disease that leads to the deterioration of the kidneys.
Wehmeyer said, "Most people don't have kidney failure until they're about 25, so I made it to 31, which is pretty rare. I noticed I wasn't starting to feel good and my body was slowing down."
On the brink of kidney failure, Wehmeyer had a donor lined up; then three days before the surgery there were complications.
"Everything was building up to this big moment we had been waiting for," Wehmeyer said, "I got the phone call and at first it didn't set in, I went numb with the thought that I wasn't going to have a transplant that I'd been working on for six months."
It was around the same time officer Melanie Medlock delivered a baby in a Raleigh parking lot. When she found out her life-long friend needed a kidney, she again sprung into action.
"Let's do it," Medlock recalled, "It was no question, I knew it was one of those things I needed to do."
Within four months Medlock and Wehmeyer were side by side in a Nashville hospital, having surgeries that would change both their lives forever.
"What do you say to a person that's voluntarily putting their life on the line just to extend yours?" Wehmeyer asks.
For Medlock, the answer is nothing, "I think God's just put me in the right places at the right time at this point in my life," she says, "I'm very thankful for that."
She's also thankful that Wehmeyer's scar and the kidney inside is now their shared symbol of love.