When Alicia Lopez heard that her former colleague's 3-year-old son was suffering from a rare bladder disease and would need a new kidney to survive, the Riverside County Sheriff's deputy didn't think twice.
She went to a doctor to see if her kidney was a match.
"It came easy to me once I talked it over with my husband and my children," Lopez said. "I kind of wish I had more kidneys to go around."
Lopez will donate her kidney to little Matthew Cross.
"There's no words that will ever fully express how amazing she is," said the boy's mother, Angelina Castleberry. "She's saving my son's life."
Castleberry was 17 weeks into her pregnancy when she learned that her Matthew had been diagnosed with posterior urethral valves, a bladder disorder that doctors said could end his life.
When Matthew and his twin sister were born on July 1, 2014, Matthew remained under intensive care. He suffered from pulmonary hypertension, bleeding and fluid in his brain, kidney failure, and collapsed lungs, and the family soon learned that he would need a kidney transplant to survive.
Lopez, who became close friends with Castleberry 12 years earlier, had supported the Castleberry's since Matthew's birth.
Lopez's colleagues treated the little boy to a tour of the Palm Desert Station as a "deputy of the day."
Without Lopez's kidney, the boy might have had to wait for more than three years on a waitlist.
"He's a resilient little boy, he gets through surgeries like a pro now," Castleberry said. "It'll be long and hard, but it'll be worth it — because it'll be the last."
Both Lopez and Matthew will take six to eight weeks to recover from the surgery, and Castleberry said the two have formed an unbreakable connection.
"He just gravitates to her across the room, I know after this they're gonna be closer — if that's possible," Castleberry said. "She's gonna be in our life forever."