Kidney Transplant Between Brother/Sister Officers

December 7, 1999

Tuesday, December 7, 1999
Kidney Transplant Between Brother/Sister Officers

In November of 1998, Officer John James Mungia, 10 years with the Department, assigned to Hollenbeck Community Police Station, experienced kidney failure.

Officer Mungia has had to undergo dialysis for approximately 10 hours everyday for the last year, he was placed on a waiting list for a kidney donor but the wait is anywhere from 3 to 5 years.

John’s younger sister Melissa Mungia, who is also a Los Angeles Police Officer and has 4 1/2 years with the Department, is currently assigned to Rampart Community Police Station. Melissa, who is the mother of a 6-year-old boy and 7-month-old baby girl, chose to be tested to see if her kidney would be compatible for her brother.

Melissa’s kidney met 5 of the 6 medical categories needed for the transplant. In order for the match to be any closer, the two would have to be twins. Both John and Melissa are the children of Northeast Homicide Detective John Mungia who is a 27-year veteran with the Department.

On December 3, 1999, John underwent over 6 hours of surgery, his sister Melissa underwent over 8 hours of a new Orthoscopic procedure to have her kidney removed. The new procedure leaves a much smaller incision and does not require a rib to be broken as in the traditional procedure. Both operations were successful.

Melissa has already been released from the hospital and is recovering at home with her family and children. John is recovering in a local hospital and will be released Wednesday, December 8, 1999.

If you have any questions regarding this advisory, please contact Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586 or Sergeant Michael Apodaca at the Office of the Chief of Police at 213-473-3735.


John will be released on Wednesday, December 8, 1999 from University Hospital located at 1500 San Pablo Street. John’s sister, Melissa, and his father, John Sr., as well as other family members will be attending. Interviews will be conducted in the "Salerni" room, which is on the 5th floor of the hospital.

For Release 2:00 pm PST
December 7, 1999