Babylon Man to Donate a Kidney to a Long-time Friend



John Primavera was born with hypoplastic kidneys, which are kidneys that do not grow.


Primavera required a kidney transplant after the one he received when he was 14 years old failed after 30 years.


Tom Kenny, his best buddy of over 40 years, saw him go through that initial transplant and wanted to help.


“The waitlist for someone like John is seven years. So to not work and be on dialysis, how do you expect people to get through that for seven years is tough,” Kenny said.


According to kidney experts, New York has the second-longest wait list in the country. This could imply that the 49-year-old father and spouse would be on dialysis until a suitable match could be found.


“Mortality rate on dialysis, unfortunately, is 50% at five years. So mathematically… a lot of people don’t survive long enough to get to the transplant point,” said Dr. Nicole Ali, M.D., of the NYU Langone Health Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program.


Upon hearing this statistic, Kenny volunteered to be a living donor and learned that he and Primavera shared a bond stronger than their decades long friendship – they were a perfect match.


“They said the only way they get that match is if he was a brother of mine,” Primavera said.


To help encourage organ donations in New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul recently passed a law to help cover costs incurred by the living donor.


“Lost wages, being able to have time off to recover from the surgery, having other means to take care of your children – those are big barriers to living donation, and so what the governor has passed is a really big step,” Ali said.


“I think if you can help, you do it. It just felt right,” Kenny said.


“I can’t express how I feel. I mean, it’s a selfless act to do that,” Primavera said.
The surgery is scheduled at NYU Langone Health this Monday.

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