Virginia Beach, Va. - Retired Virginia Beach Police Sgt. Mike Felts spent 20 years of his life taking drugs and criminals off the streets of Virginia Beach.
Today he's fighting another battle, and some in his former police department are taking action to help him.
Four days a week, for three hours he uses dialysis in his home.
"It affects my wife, it affects my kids, it affects everyone around me," said Felts.
Felts said he was diagnosed with lupus in 2006, then this April learned that he needed a kidney.
He said it was difficult when he first learned he was sick. He said, "One day I was like Superman and the next day I was like paralyzed"
But people in the police department took action.
Last week a email was sent out to every officer.
It explained his health problems and pointed people in the right direction if they wanted to help him.
The email in part read:
"Retired Sergeant and current background investigator Mike Felts has suffered some health complications that have resulted in Kidney failure. He must now undergo Dialysis four times a week for 3 hours at a time and this time will only increase as time goes on. He is in the process of being listed on the national donor list, but the average time it takes a person to obtain a kidney is 5 years. Mike’s best chance is to find a living donor who is willing to donate a kidney and is a match. The first step in the process is having the blood type “O”.
If you didn’t know Mike I can tell you he was not only a well-liked supervisor, but a great SID detective who would give the shirt off his back or a ride in his boat.
Mike receiving a new kidney will dramatically improve his quality of life and increase his overall longevity. The decision to participate in the living donor program is not an easy decision, but if you do feel it may be something you’re interested in please visit the web site at http://www.sentaralivingdonation.com. This program is free to the donor.
Felts said almost immediately after the email was sent out people were calling him and offering support. A handful have signed up to get tested to see if they are a match for a new kidney.
Felts recalls a conversation he had with someone at the transplant center, "He said you must be well-liked and I said why is that? He said man you got a lot of people that called in and I told him the word went out. I was with the police department for 20 years."
It's the brotherhood of the police department and support from his family especially his wife that he said has gotten him through this difficult time.
Virginia Beach Police Department Capt. David Squires knows what it is like to donate an organ. He gave his mom a kidney back in 2006.
He is offering to answer questions for anyone in the department who has questions of what it is like to donate.
"He (Felts) is someone that I respect and I urged anybody who thinks they want to make a contribution to those in need to be tested to get into the databanks for donation," said Squires.
"People are so willing to help and I'm so grateful," Felts sas. "I know I'm blessed even if I don't get a kidney. I have a great family with the police department and have a great family here."