Once strangers, student donor and Minneapolis cop are connected through a kidney


A Minneapolis police officer is recovering at Hennepin County Medical Center after receiving a life-saving kidney from a stranger.

WCCO has the story of Carlos Escobar, 35, who took his appeal to Facebook after spending two years on a waiting list for a kidney.

He said he would work a full shift as a cop, then spend seven hours on dialysis, hoping and praying for a donor. No one in his family was a match.

“I never expected it to be too soon because they told me with my blood type, it could be seven years,” Escobar said

A friend convinced him to put his story on Facebook.

On his Facebook page, Carlos Escobar said seven months on dialysis was taking a toll.

"I have been on the national kidney transplant list for almost 2 years now. The chances of me receiving a kidney off of this list before I die are slim, and this is where I need your help.This is a battle that I thought I could fight alone, but I have come to the realization that I need your help (actually, your kidney). "

College student Sebastian Rivera saw the appeal, and got tested to see if he was a match.

"I have two kidneys and he needs one, so why not," Rivera said.

Escocbar was astonished.

“I didn’t know what to say. My jaw just dropped,” he said. “I was almost in tears, you know. I couldn’t believe it.”

Rivera is taking time off from school to recover, and Escobar is hoping he’ll be well enough to go back to police work in a couple of months.

Both wanted to share their story in hopes of raising awareness about organ donation. You can find out more about Escobar's excruciating wait on his Facebook page.

HCMC posted a FAQ about organ donation here.

Another Minnesotan, Jim Gorbunow, became a minor celebrity since he and his brother built a giant snow kidney two weeks ago, with a sign asking for a donor. Several possible donors have come forward in the past week.

You can follow his journey on Facebook, here.

Nearly 100,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for life-saving kidney transplants, according to The National Kidney Foundation.

Next Up

Sen. Julia Coleman

'No one's business': State senator calls out attack on her pregnancy

Sen. Julia Coleman represents Minnesota's District 47.

Willmar Police Department

'Errant bullet' goes through garage wall, kills Willmar man

The man was working in his garage when he was shot, witnesses said.

Screen Shot 2021-01-16 at 10.59.00 PM

Wild tie Kings with 2 seconds left, win in overtime

Another incredible finish for the Wild.

Screen Shot 2021-01-16 at 6.53.17 PM

Mike Lindell's MyPillow offering discounts using the code 'Qanon'

The Shakopee-based company is under the microscope because of the recent actions of its owner.

Surly Brewing

Facing aluminum can shortage, Surly unveils solution: 'Cantyhose'

The brewery came up with a creative way to repurpose unused cans.

Liam Robbins

Gophers stay perfect at home by crushing 7th-ranked Michigan

Liam Robbins and Marcus Carr were too much for the previously undefeated Wolverines.

police lights

Four teens arrested over robberies in Minneapolis

They teens were found in a vehicle that was taken during an earlier carjacking.

Boundary Waters/BWCA

All BWCA visitors will now have to watch three 'Leave No Trace' videos

Visitors left an "unacceptably high amount" of damage last year.


Ten fatal overdoses in past 6 weeks reported in region of northern MN

Law enforcement agencies have issued a plea to the general public.