CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is poised to receive a new kidney — from his son.
The superintendent who disclosed in January after suffering a public dizzy spell that he's on a waiting list for a kidney transplant told reporters on Wednesday that 25-year-old Daniel Johnson would be the donor of the kidney.
Johnson, who met with reporters to announce that his officers have seized nearly 6,000 illegal guns so far this year, expressed pride in his son when he was asked about the transplant and his son's decision to donate one of his kidneys to his father.
"It's not something that I asked him to do, he chose to do this for me," said Johnson, who has battled for decades a potentially life threatening inflammation of the kidneys called glomerulonephritis. "It's a wonderful thing when you can actually see your son grow into the man that you can be proud of."
Johnson said he and his son have "always had a good bond and, quite naturally it's really gotten deeper," clearly pleased about the fact that it is his son is donating one of his kidneys. "He's a lot like me. He just looks at it like, 'I'm getting a tuneup. Let's get this done and move on."
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Johnson will have the surgery within the next two weeks at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Deputy Superintendent Kevin Navarro will run the department in Johnson's absence.
Guglielmi has said that after the operation, Johnson is expected to be back at police headquarters in three to five weeks, but said Wednesday that long before he returns to the office Johnson will be working from home and will be in regular contact with his staff.
At the news conference, Johnson downplayed any worries about his operation and the surgery to remove the kidney from his son, saying that he had faith in God and trusts the surgeons.
"It doesn't concern him and it doesn't concern me, really," he said.
Johnson had more reason to be proud. Daniel Johnson recently told his father that he has taken the tests to become a Chicago police officer, Guglielmi said.
Johnson has been police superintendent since March of last year, when he was replaced former Superintendent Garry McCarthy, who was fired following the release of dashcam footage showing a white police officer fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager 16 times. Emanuel chose Johnson for the job in March 2016, after rejecting three finalists recommended by the city's police board.