Boss Donates Kidney to Firefighter
WAUWATOSA - A Wisconsin firefighter needed a new kidney, and he didn't have to look far to find one. After three failed attempts at a kidney transplant, a Tess Corners firefighter got a surprising offer from his assistant fire chief.
On Wednesday, an offer to help turned into the gift of lifetime.
"I believe it hurt him to see the tears and the anguish of the family of one of his fellow firefighters," said Penny Romasko. She believes that's why her husband, Marty Rukavina, decided to donate his kidney to a fellow firefighter.
Romasko wasn't always behind the idea. "When I first heard, I was ambivalent to say the least. You do feel a sense of uncertainty for your own future."
Now as Romasko sits by Rukavina's hospital bed, she has no doubts they did the right thing for the recipient, Rick Schaber.
This process is a familiar one for Schaber and his family. He's been through three failed attempts at a kidney transplant. The fourth time worked.
Romasko was there when the family heard the news. "Rick's surgeon came out and told them the kidney was in and working. Watching the mother cry and weep was, that was touching, it was all right there. This is what needs to be done."
Now that this transplant surgery has made news, both families hope those who hear this story will consider being a live donor. Romasko can speak for her husband on this, "If we can give the gift of life to someone else, why not do it, and I know that's how Marty felt this whole time."
Both men were doing well after Wednesday's surgery.