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Man sues donor group over kidney

New York Daily News

NEW YORK – A 54-year-old Bronx native facing death from kidney disease is fighting for the right to sue a transplant organization for giving away a kidney from his childhood friend.

Robert Colavito had lost almost all renal function and was on dialysis when his friend, Peter Lucia, suffered a brain hemorrhage on Aug. 21, 2002, and died the next day in a Long Island hospital.

Lucia’s wife, Debra, says she directed that both of her husband’s kidneys be sent to Florida, where Colavito was living, and used to save his life. But despite her written and verbal instructions, medical authorities sent only one of Peter Lucia’s kidneys to Florida – and it turned out to be defective. The other kidney, which was healthy, went to a woman in New York.

Colavito had been informed of Lucia’s gift and rushed to Miami’s Jackson Memorial Medical Center, where he was prepped for surgery.

“They called him and told him, ‘This is your lucky day, report to Jackson Memorial, we have a kidney for you,’ ” said Colavito’s lawyer, Victor Serby.

“They told me, ‘Just five more minutes,’ ” Colavito said. “Then the doctor came in and said the kidney was unusable, it has aneurysms in it.

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