Fenlon, 26, of La Plata, Md., had donated a kidney to Davis, who has been suffering from kidney disease since his teenage years. Medications had helped to keep his kidney function relatively stable through the years, but things took a downturn this summer.
“The past three months, it just kind of went off the cliff, and it went downhill quickly,” Davis said.
He was admitted to the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and was on dialysis for three weeks. Fortunately, he had a kidney donation lined up for transplant. He is among a lucky few. According to the National Kidney Foundation, the median wait time for an individual’s first kidney transplant is 3.6 years, and 13 people die each day while awaiting kidney transplants.
Davis and Fenlon are police officers with the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, where they have served since 2009 and 2011, respectively, including a two-year stint when they worked together on the midnight shift.
But their ties go much further back — back to their Little League days as kids, and then, after high school, as cadets at the sheriff’s office.
So when Davis found out about two years ago that he might need a kidney transplant, Fenlon went to the hospital, got himself tested, determined that he was a match, and told his friend that he would be the donor when the time came.
“It was a pretty easy decision for me,” Fenlon said.
Davis was ecstatic.
“Some people end up waiting a long time for a kidney to come along,” he said. “It was exciting to know that I didn’t have to do that … that Andrew was there for me.”
Fenlon and Davis checked into the hospital Aug. 29 to undergo the surgery.
“The case went really well,” said Peter Abrams, a transplant surgeon at the MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute who performed the procedure. “His kidney worked right away.”
Fenlon was discharged within two days, and Davis the following day. The two are recuperating together at Davis’s home, keeping each other company.
“It’s good to have somebody else there,” Davis said.
They expect to return to work in a few weeks.
“What you’re seeing is the really amazing, fast … recovery that patients, especially young patients, experience after a living-donor kidney transplant,” said Abrams, the surgeon.
“We were really close before, but I would say we’re getting closer now,” Fenlon said. “It’s a little different — a little bit more like family now.”