INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indianapolis police officer shot and killed in the line of duty is continuing to give life to others nine years after his death.
Officer David Moore was 29 when he died Jan. 26, 2011.
“For a majority of us growing up in our careers, this was the first violent act and the first line-of-duty death that we all experienced. It was tough. It is a reality check for sure,” said Grace Sibley, an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department sergeant.
News 8 spoke to the man who received the gift of life, thanks to Moore’s selfless act. Lance Lewis received the call he been waiting for for years, one that would ultimately save his life.
“‘Hey, you know, I think we have got lungs.’ Same questions: ‘You doing OK?’ ‘Yep, fine.’ ‘Fever?’ ‘Nope, everything is good.’ ‘All right, well you probably ought to head this way,'” Lewis recalled of the phone conversation.
Lewis suffers from a genetic disease that causes his body to attack his lungs. When he was in his early 40s, doctors told Lewis he had the lung function of an 80-year-old.
Before the transplant, his lungs were functioning at 20% of what they should have been.
“It was really hard for me to carry a gallon of milk up three steps into the house. I was on oxygen 24 hours a day,” said Lewis.
Now, nine years later, not only does Lewis have another chance at life thanks to Moore, but he also has a new family.
“There is no doubt in my mind that without a transplant I wouldn’t be here today,” said Lewis. “It is like I say — and it still is today — it is like I have known them forever. Had lunch with his dad last week. They are family. It is, just, they are. They are family.”
Lewis said at first, he just wanted to meet Moore’s family to tell them thank you. But, it took no time for their relationship to turn into much more.
People who knew Moore say they found peace knowing that he is still helping people in his passing.
“He was able to give more than just his service to the community. He was able to give seven people a chance at a better and brighter future,” Sibley said.
News 8 asked Lewis what he would like to tell Moore if he could.
“Thank you,” he said.
Once Lewis got to know Moore’s family, he said they learned they had quite a lot in common: Lewis worked in law enforcement for years; they both had a dog named Charlie, and Lewis’ son was born at the same hospital that Moore was just three days apart. Lewis and Moore’s father also share the same middle name.
They say it is almost like fate brought them together.