Davis 2

La Vergne Police Chief Burrel “Chip” Davis (second from left), then a police officer, prays with the family of Eric Crowder in 2016 before Davis’ kidney transplant surgery. Crowder, then a police officer as well, was the kidney donor. Family members include Michael Crowder (left), Eric Crowder (second from right) and Ethel Crowder (far right).

La Vergne Police Chief Chip Davis must undergo a second kidney transplant because the kidney he received in 2016 was damaged during his treatment for COVID-19 earlier this year.

“At this time, there is no impact on my duties. I haven’t missed a day of work. I feel good,” Davis said last week. “It’s a situation. But I’m still standing.”

Davis, who was promoted to the chief’s position last July, said that despite being vaccinated for COVID-19, he contracted the virus and the medical treatment included monoclonal antibodies.

“Something in the treatment regimen caused the transplanted kidney to slow down processing Creatinine,” said Davis, who is on the wait list to receive a kidney transplant at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

The kidneys convert Creatinine into urine to clear it out of the body. When Davis’ transplanted kidney began to fail, that left him with home dialysis (hooked up to a mechanical kidney each day for 10 hours) or hemodialysis (four-hour treatment sessions three days a week) as options to cleanse his body of Creatinine.

“However, I’m a big man and the system couldn’t keep up,” Davis said. 

Last month, Lt. Brent Hatcher was promoted to Deputy Chief. He had been the department’s Third Shift Operations Commander.

“It is a fortunate thing,” Davis said. “Elevating Brent Hatcher to the Deputy Chief position was an independent decision from the medical situation, but it was a fortunate one under the circumstances.”

Davis has 22 years of experience in law enforcement, 17 of them with the La Vergne Police Department. He had served as the interim chief since October of 2020. He served as a sergeant over training and planning for LPD since 2007.

Eric Crowder was a La Vergne police officer in 2016 when he donated one of his kidneys to Davis. He is now a deputy in the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.

“Well, I was hoping it wouldn’t ever come to this again, but it has,” said Crowder. “Chip Davis, my brother from another mother needs another kidney. Anybody willing to get tested to be a donor would be appreciated. Keep him and his family in your prayers. God will see you through this.”

After the 2016 transplant, the Vanderbilt Medical Center Kidney Transplant Unit published a story about the transplant and the two police officers. Davis talked about being uncomfortable with reaching out for help, having always been the helper as a public servant. However, his wife, Kelly, did not hesitate to reach out for help for her husband.

“I didn’t know how to ask someone to make that kind of sacrifice for me,” Chip Davis said in 2016. “I had always been the one helping others. I wasn’t used to being on the receiving end. I was thrilled when Eric asked me about getting tested. We were actually together in the office when he found out he was a match.”

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