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Top Cop Set To Get Kidney Transplant From 25-Year-Old Son Wednesday

 Supt. Eddie Johnson  said he eager to have the surgery and get back to work after the transplant.
Supt. Eddie Johnson said he eager to have the surgery and get back to work after the transplant.
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DNAinfo/Heather Cherone

THE LOOP — Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson will undergo a kidney transplant Wednesday, with his 25-year-old son, Daniel, set to serve as the donor.

"I'm ready to get it over with," Johnson said. "I feel great. I've always been the guy who doesn't like things hanging over my head, so I want to get it done."

Johnson revealed his condition after almost collapsing at a news conference earlier this year.

"Trust me when I tell you this," Johnson said. "There is still a lot of work to be done in this city. The quicker I get this done and recover, the quicker I can get back to the work at hand. I am determined to make CPD a model agency and Chicago one of the safest big cities in the country."

Johnson said he was "immensely proud" of his son.

"I couldn't have went to the store and picked out a better kid," Johnson said. "He's a good kid."

Johnson said he planned to have his Bible close at hand before the surgery.

"I might not be the most religious guy, but I am afraid of God," Johnson said, adding that the Bible was a source of strength for him, particularly the Book of Job.

Johnson said he planned to marry Lt. Nakia Fenner "soon," but declined to reveal details about his impending nuptials.

"I'll get in trouble if I tell you," Johnson said, laughing.

After the surgery, Johnson, who lost 50 pounds while preparing for the surgery, said he was looking forward to using his new Bowflex treadmill.

First Deputy Supt. Kevin Navarro will run the department in Johnson's absence, which is expected to be no more than a few weeks, officials said.

Johnson told reporters in January that he was diagnosed with a kidney disease 32 years ago when he applied to be a Chicago police officer and was required to take a blood test. He said he has managed it since then without medicine.

Johnson is among the more than 123,000 Americans on the organ transplant list. However, only 7,000 people receive a transplant each year; 12 people die every day waiting for a kidney. Half of the 4,700 people awaiting a transplant in Illinois are minorities, according to the Office of Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.