• 'I've always tried to help people': Gastonia officer makes live organ donations

    By: Ken Lemon


    GASTONIA, N.C. - Gastonia police Officer Zachery Lechette gave up a kidney and more than half of his liver to save the lives of two strangers.

    [ALSO READ: Transplant recipient meets family of organ donor shot, killed in Lancaster]

    "I've always tried to help people -- organ donation, blood donation, bone marrow donation," Lechette said. "It just seemed like the next logical step."

    A co-worker's child needed a kidney years ago and didn't get help in time.

    After that, Lechette decided he had to be that help for the next person in need.

    "For me, if I had two kidneys, it meant one of them was a spare," Lechette said.

    He gave a kidney four years ago knowing he may never see the person who received it.

    "That didn't matter to me," Lechette said. "Just knowing that I was, perhaps, saving someone's life was enough."

    The recipient was a man who wanted to meet Lechette.

    "'You saved my life,'" Lechette recalled the man told him.

    In March, Lechette went under the knife again giving 60% of his liver to a woman in need.

    She also asked to meet him to say thank you.

    "They have their lives back, and they can move on with their family and friends. Knowing I had a hand in that, is rewarding," Lechette said.

    The police officer healed quickly after his life-saving donations.

    "There's a part of me there with somebody else, but I don't feel like I have lost anything," he said. "I feel like I have gained a lot."

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