ORANGE (CBSLA.com) — A Diamond Bar father has gotten a new lease on life following a life-saving kidney transplant.
CBS2’s Michele Gile says his Coast Guard family stepped up in a big day.
Frank Maggelet and Patricia Lovenstein had only met twice but she had no doubt that he — a retired Coast Guard Port security chief — would get her kidney.
“Well, first of all there was no if,” she said, “I knew that it was going to happen.”
She considers him, a husband and father, like her own family.
A decade ago, her husband was his senior officer — buddies in the Coast Guard, stationed together in Boston.
A few months ago, Lovenstein — a former nurse — read on Facebook that Maggelet needed help and was in dire need of a new kidney after he developed polycystic kidney disease.
“He still has never asked me for my kidney,” she said, with a laugh, “it’s already in him. It’s a little late for that. But he’s never asked. No one ever asked me to do this.”
The transplant took place at UCI Medical Center in Orange on Tuesday.
Her left kidney now sits in his right abdomen.
Today was the first day the two got to share a private moment without family around. He was able to whisper a “thank you” to Lovenstein, grateful that the transplant came at just the right time. He was left with a kidney that barely functioned.
He learned on Thanksgiving night that he will have many more years to spend with his wife and young daughters.
“Patricia called, and the hospital called. ‘You’re a match.’ And the four of us, Thanksgiving evening, we cried,” said Maggelet, “because it was like a miracle.”