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Recovered addict donates kidney to cop who arrested her

Jocelynn James credits retired officer Terrell Potter with helping to save her from a life of crime

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By Suzie Ziegler

PHIL CAMPBELL, Ala. — Last month, an Alabama woman saved the life of someone who once saved hers: a retired police officer who arrested her eight years ago.

According to FOX 11, Jocelynn James was arrested 16 times between 2007 and 2012 for theft and drug charges. Now, she’s nearly eight years sober and a kidney donor to the cop who she says helped turn her life around.

Terrell Potter, a former officer with the Phil Campbell Police Department, arrested James back when she was on local ‘Most Wanted’ lists.

“She was out running crazy, stealing and doing drugs and things she shouldn’t be doing,” Potter told FOX 11. “I locked her up a couple of times.”

But James says this was the wakeup call she needed.

“I was just living a really bad life, doing a lot of really bad things that I shouldn’t have had no business doing, and I was just a really lost person,” she said. “I was sick of living that life, and I wanted to do something different.”

She told FOX 11 she was finally able to get her life straightened out after Potter arrested her.

When James saw on Facebook last November that the officer needed a kidney transplant, she knew she had to act.

“I just threw my phone down and the holy spirit told me right then that I had that man’s kidney,” James said.

Doctors had told Potter that his kidney was failing and only functioning at 5%, according to FOX 11. But it was a seven to eight-year waiting period for a kidney.

“We began praying about getting the right kidney,” Potter said. “We were looking all over the Southeast.”

After a series of medical tests, James and Potter learned they were a perfect match, reported FOX 11. And on July 21, Potter received the successful kidney transplant.

 “All the numbers were great. It started working from the time it was put in,” Potter said.

Potter tells FOX 11 that he now thinks of James like another daughter.

“It’s made a great relationship and a bond between us that can go forever. There’s no doubt about that,” Potter said. “Her giving me a kidney, it extended my life.”

James now runs a non-profit called The Place of Grace where she helps other women get treatment, according to FOX 11.

“I want people to realize that there is help out there for them,” James said. “It doesn’t matter what happens in your life. You can always turn it around.”