Kidney transplant goes well for deputy

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When David James trains young Richmond County deputies, he hopes the training keeps them alive. He now hopes that one of those deputies will do the same for him.

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Deputy David James, shown, received a kidney from Deputy Eric Sikes, who died Tuesday in an accident in his patrol car.  File/Staff
File/Staff
Deputy David James, shown, received a kidney from Deputy Eric Sikes, who died Tuesday in an accident in his patrol car.

Deputy James underwent a kidney transplant late Thursday and early Friday morning, receiving the kidney of fellow Deputy Eric Sikes, who died after a Tuesday morning accident in his patrol car.

"It's just a day of sadness. It's a day of happiness. It's hard to put into words," said Capt. Ray Myers, who works alongside Deputy James at the sheriff's office training facility.

He spoke with his colleague about the transplant before the surgery and again only hours after it.

Capt. Myers expressed grief at losing a deputy but consoled Deputy James by saying that Deputy Sikes "can go on living through him."

Deputy James' left eye and kidneys were damaged in 1990 when he was shot five times while attempting to make an arrest A kidney he received from his mother in 1993 recently began failing, and he has been on dialysis since Christmas.

Capt. Myers said Deputy James shared his experience with young deputies at the training center to keep them safe, recounting how he was shot when he was a road patrol officer responding to a home where a child was being beaten.

"He explains to them what can happen in the streets," the captain said, calling him a "very valuable" instructor.

The deputy was listed in good condition Friday afternoon by a Medical College of Georgia Hospital and Clinics spokeswoman.

Sheriff Ronnie Strength said Deputy James' family is excited with his progress and how quickly he is recovering. The sheriff also expressed his sadness over losing Deputy Sikes.

"Law enforcement is a very close-knit group, and they are all like family," he said.

Deputies from Richmond County and other law enforcement officials lined the hospital hallways during the surgery, Sheriff Strength said.

It's important now, he said, to work with both families to ensure they have what they need.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (9) Add comment
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voiceofconcern
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voiceofconcern 03/24/07 - 07:17 am
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I'm sure I speak for the

I'm sure I speak for the entire CSRA. Our prayers go out to Deputy James and to the family of the late Deputy Sikes. May God be with all of you.

bedofroses
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bedofroses 03/24/07 - 08:09 am
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My prayers go out to Deputy

My prayers go out to Deputy James and the family of Deputy Sikes.

fergie01
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fergie01 03/24/07 - 08:24 am
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amen

amen

easy breezy
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easy breezy 03/24/07 - 08:55 am
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This is truly remarkable. May

This is truly remarkable. May God bless both of these families.

onehotdog
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onehotdog 03/24/07 - 02:55 pm
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David has been a blessing to

David has been a blessing to great number of people, now he has received a blessing from Dep. Sikes. We will be praying for both families.

timereader
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timereader 03/24/07 - 07:32 pm
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god bless both families

god bless both families

Bella
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Bella 03/24/07 - 08:35 pm
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I agree, these men are so

I agree, these men are so brave. May the lord be with them and their families in this time of happiness and utter heartache.

joekm46
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joekm46 03/25/07 - 04:59 am
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My prayers and support are

My prayers and support are with both families and all the fine men and women of the Richmond county Sheriffs Department. I understand the vital importance of our good law enforcement officers and may they continue keeping law and order in our community. I hope participation in the benevolent fund they have in place helps fill the gap finacially in times such as these. I pray that anyone who can help with this fund, will consider supporting it. My hat is off to all of you at the Sheriffs Department. Best regards, Joseph(jokey)Marsingill

jambhuff
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jambhuff 03/27/07 - 07:35 pm
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what an honorable thing for

what an honorable thing for the sikes family to do.God bless
them.Prayers for both families are being offered by many

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