NEWS RELEASE                                             

For Immediate Release
October 30, 2009
Contact: Michele Nicholson
Public Information Officer
  (850) 651-7420


     Nearly four months ago, Okaloosa County Deputy Johnnie Briggs was hoping to find a donor to help replace one of his two failing kidneys.

    Today Briggs is recovering from a transplant operation, performed October 27th, at Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans. The donor is a fellow law enforcement officer,  Capt. Rick Hohl, who works for the Corrections Unit of the Polk County Sheriff's Office in Florida.

    Briggs, a 20-year law enforcement veteran, and his girlfriend Kim Thompson, put out an appeal for a donor last June after Briggs had to begin a grueling renal dialysis schedule of four hours a day, three days a week. He also continued to pull his 12 hour shifts as a traffic enforcement officer with the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office. Captain Hohl saw the information and took action to see if he was a match. His identity was not released to Deputy Briggs until this morning (Friday). Both men are doing well following the operation and Captain Hohl has already been discharged from the hospital.

    The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office wants to thank all the people who responded via phone and email to the appeal for a donor.  In Florida alone, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says more than 3000 people are registered as in need of a kidney transplant.