Cobden police chief receives life-changing birthday gift - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cobden police chief receives life-changing birthday gift

COBDEN, IL (KFVS) -

For the past several months the village of Cobden and Anna, Illinois have been rallying together to help the Cobden Police Chief Bobby Hale.

“This is something we’ve prayed for and wanted to have happen for a long long time," long-time friend of Hale, Wes Lyerla said. “We just wanted for him to have the best life possible.”

Hale had Type One diabetes for the past 31 years and was told he needed a pancreas transplant or his kidneys would shut down… news that affected the whole village of Cobden.

“I was scared, and I knew he was scared too," Hale's friend, Sand Buchheit said.

After being on a waiting list for the past few months to get the transplant, on September 20, Hale got the call he had been waiting for.

“At 11:00, church ended, we had group prayer, and at 11:22, I got the phone call," Hale said. "To me, that just...who gets that  that kind of testimony from God?”

A call he received on his 36th birthday.

“The pancreas was not just a match, but a perfect match," Hale said. "Everything just lined up perfect.” 

Seeing Hale for the first time since he’s been back from his surgery, people of the community say they can only describe it as pure joy.

“I didn’t know what to expect when he walked in. I was like wow! I couldn't believe," Buchheit said with enthusiasm. "The color of his face, the sparkle in his eye...it was joy."

“Just overjoyed that B.J. is going to be back and not be a diabetic after over 30 years," Hale's friend, Molly Beckley said. "He can dance in the street!”

“We got him back and we’re proud of that," Lyerla said.

Before the surgery, Hale was restricted to eating a maximum of 30 carbs a day, and needed to check his blood sugar at least ten times a day, and every hour and a half at night.

But now, he no longer has to do that being diabetes free, and has an open diet.

“I had a Twinkie and it was good," Hale said with excitement. He said the next sweet treat he's excited to try is Snickers.

Hale said he can’t thank the community enough for what they’ve done, and also to his number one fan, his wife.

“One of the first things I plan on doing is making that woman fall in love with me again," Hale said. "Because she’s saved my life. I mean she’s literally stayed up at night making sure I’m alive, so I have  a list of things I need to do.”

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