Being able to save a person’s life is the ultimate blessing. When a man who needed a kidney transplant was told he wouldn’t make it without one, I knew I had to do whatever it took to make sure he made it.
Brett Ashley was given a second chance at life after I shared his story on PIX11. Everything started with a heartfelt Facebook plea my wife came across.
I learned of Ashley’s predicament because of her. A few days before Christmas, I had the chance to interview him. He desperately needed a kidney transplant and said as much.
His time on dialysis, which had already lasted for three and a half years, was quickly running out. If he didn’t find a kidney donor this year, he was prepared to die, he said.
A High Mortality Risk While on Dialysis Was Confirmed by His Doctor
Finding a kidney donor was difficult for Ashley because there are so many people on the waiting list. With the hope of finding a donor, he began a pricey advertising campaign.
But after Ashley found your wife on Facebook and confided in her, her chances of survival improved. She mentioned me to you, and you called me in for an interview. Only one person out of the dozen or so who responded to your report was a perfect match.
There was a generous benefactor, but they wished to remain nameless. Ashley defines an altruistic donor as one who helps out a cause they believe in without expecting anything in return. He saw the TV report and the hopelessness, and it must have really affected him.
On September 12th, Ashley met his surgeon, Dr. Michael Goldstein, the director of the organ transplant program at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. The quick response to his question, “Are you ready to go?” from his patient was “I am so ready.”
Later on, Dr. Goldstein reassured me that the operation had been a success. The transplant took about three hours to complete, and it was a complete success. Meeting Ashley’s donor after the operation was an emotional experience for all involved.
According to Ashley
“He came in and we hugged each other very hard.” Nina Gordon, his partner, felt similarly when she met the donor.
Both he and I were eager for a hug. “He brought us to life,” she said. Three weeks after Ashley’s surgery, the couple is slowly returning to their pre-surgery routine of tending to their plants and going for daily walks around their Great Neck home.
Dr. Goldstein Has Complete Faith in Himself
In other words, the prognosis is excellent. Doctor Goldstein assured me that my experience with kidney transplant patients had been typical.
Ashley, who is resting comfortably at home, reports that she is “feeling semi-normal again” after her ordeal. My search for a viable donor led me to this account. I’m so grateful that you and your wife Lorri worked at PIX 11 News. A life was saved because of you, Marvin; thank you so much.
A happy ending like that would be great if it happened in every story. In this world, Brett Ashley can count himself among the fortunate.
The number of people on the national kidney donor registry is well over 100 thousand. A victim of the Holocaust named Anne Frank once said, “No one has ever been poorer by giving.”One man has just made a complete stranger’s life, so he has instantly become much wealthier.