CHARLOTTE — A veteran detective with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is recovering after getting a double-organ transplant.
Stefan Rucker was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease called amyloidosis, which caused his liver and heart to start failing.
Rucker is now out of the hospital after the surgery last week at Duke University Hospital. The 16-year veteran is already thinking about getting back on the streets to protect the community he loves.
“I will definitely be serving the CMPD community once again,” he said. “Once I am healed, I will be back.”
Doctors at Novant Health Presbyterian diagnosed him with the aggressive disease.
“It begins in your liver and attacks your liver,” Rucker said. “Protein that attacks your liver, and it explodes. That gets to the heart, and it breaks the heart.”
The disease caused him to experience heart failure and liver failure, but he didn’t give up.
Rucker and his girlfriend recently had a baby boy, Kayden. The family moved to Durham and waited months until doctors at Duke University Hospital called last week with good news: They found a donor that matched his heart and liver.
Rucker knows he has a long road to recovery after the successful transplants.
“A heart and a liver are not something people have two of, so someone had to make the ultimate sacrifice for me to be here,” Rucker said.
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