A pair of childhood friends at Bay Shore Middle School in the 1970s found each other on Facebook and kept in touch – a connection that has led to a lifesaving kidney transplant, Stony Brook University Hospital announced this week.
Lenore Bzdyk and Dan Sullivan both have families of their own in Bay Shore, and now, another special connection: After learning of Lenore's husband Karl's impending kidney failure due to type I diabetes, Sullivan, 48, donated a kidney to save Karl's life.
“He’s a superhero and a great friend,” Lenore Bzdyk said of Sullivan. “He’s just truly amazing. He’s one of a kind.”
Doctors at Stony Brook University Hospital performed the life saving surgery on Jan. 7. Dr. Frank S. Darras, medical director of transplantation services for the Department of Urology and a professor at the school of medicine, performed the laparoscopic donor surgery. Dr. Wayne Waltzer, a professor, chairman of the Department of Urology and director of Kidney Transplantation Services, performed the transplant surgery.
“I feel great,” Karl Bzdyk, 49, said from his hospital bed on Jan. 10. “It’s a new life…. It’s a new year. It’s a great new year.”
“I got the gift of life,” he added. “Danny is the hero.”