‘This is what I wanted to do for my father’ Son donates kidney to ailing father
A Bethpage man made the decision to donate a kidney to his father after learning he was the perfect match.
The journey to receiving the necessary operation has been a long one, says Tony Luisi, of Bethpage.
Luisi was diagnosed with needing a kidney transplant three years ago, and as time went on waiting for a donor, hope diminished.
To make matters worse New York is said to rank 50th with the longest wait time in North America for organ donations.
“I started to get a little weaker. I started to have some other problems arise,” says Luisi.
In a News 12 story that aired before the pandemic, the kidney recipient told News 12 his worries went away once his son, Nick, made the choice to donate.
Nick says nothing was going to stop or change his decision, saying in part, “I was locked and loaded. There was nothing stopping me, there was nobody what was going to tell me I couldn't do this because this is what I wanted to do for my father.”
To Luisi’s surprise, Nick was a perfect match. Although the pandemic halted many surgeries, doctors found a brief window of opportunity to operate. On Sept. 29, they had the operations.
“People always ask me, you know, did you want to do this? How did you get over the fact you were going to donate your kidney? says Nick. “To me it was never really a question.
Luisi described the process as very challenging and emotional, saying in part, “To take a kidney from your child, it is a difficult, difficult thing, but he made me an offer I couldn't refuse.”
With successful operations, both men can celebrate Thanksgiving, although apart.
Luisi hopes more New Yorkers educate themselves on organ donations and consider helping. This way, another family will be able to celebrate future holidays like Thanksgiving.
“Whether you sign the back of your card or you feel like being a living donor there are things that you can do to save a life,” says Luisi.