Retired police officer needs kidney

Local News

DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — After decades of serving his community, retired Police Officer Thomas Butts is asking people to help him get a kidney. 

The response has been bigger than he imagined. Butts spent nearly 30 years working at DPD. But this last year has proven to be one of the most challenging in his personal life. He found out his kidneys are failing. 

His family posted on Facebook about his need for a kidney donation and responses came pouring in. A lot of people are getting tested to help this man.

People in other states heard about it and offered to give theirs up for him. In one of the most trying times of his life, Butts says he’s beyond grateful for the support of his family and people he doesn’t even know. 

There’s a long list of things which bring a smile to his face.

Butts says, “My wife, my dog, my cat, my guitars, my antique collection.” 

If you look at the retired police officer, you probably couldn’t tell he has a major health problem. About a year ago, his kidneys started failing. In the last few months, they gave out even more. 

Butts says, “You have no idea how sick I have been. Nauseous, fatigue, imbalance.” 

His wife, Sarah, has seen what it’s done to him.

She says, “I don’t want anyone to go through this. I don’t want anyone to lay asleep at night and wonder are they going to wake up? Is he breathing?” 

He started at-home dialysis to flush the toxins from his body. His wife hooks him up to this machine every single night for eight hours.

Butts says, “It acts as a third kidney. I mean it’s temporary. I’m basically tethered to this machine unless you’ve got a spare kidney lying around that you’re not using that I can have.”

His humor aside, the uncertainty of his future may be changing.

Sarah says, “I want to get a kidney for Tommy. That is my ultimate goal.” 

After posting about needing a kidney on Facebook, it was shared hundreds of times and many have offered to get tested, including a family friend in Texas. 

Andy Hollingsworth says, “I’ve got two kidneys. I’m fairly healthy. If I can live on one, why not help somebody else live a longer life because they can have one of my others?” 

Those results aren’t in yet, so Tom is still searching for a new kidney. But the impact of this generosity has given him hope.

He says, “I’m taken back by it.”

Putting his needs aside, Sarah says even, if someone gets tested and isn’t a match for Tom, she encourages people to still donate for anybody else who’s life is at risk because of kidney failure.

If you’re interested in getting tested, call (314) 362 – 5365. Give them the name Thomas Butts and a transplant coordinator will talk you through the process. The family’s insurance will cover testing costs.

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