Queens Man Meets Donor Who Saved His Life

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — A Queens man who received a life-saving transplant nearly a year ago from a Chicago woman finally got to thank her in person on Tuesday.

A simple embrace expressed the emotions words could not the first time Jonathan Franco laid eyes on Diana Delgado – the woman who donated the bone marrow that saved his life.

“I pictured a million different things in my head but…perfect,” Franco told CBS 2’s Rob Morrison.

“We searched for a long time for Jonathan,” Dr. Ruthee-Lu Bayer who performed the transplant at North Shore University Hospital said.

Simply put, Bayer said Franco’s myelodysplastic syndrome meant his bone marrow produced bad blood cells.

At one time, Franco, who is now back to work for the city’s Sanitation Department, was receiving transfusions twice a week. Now, the visible rash on his face is an indication that Franco’s new marrow is working overtime.

“That’s what’s keeping his disease away, but we see the manifestations of that with the rash on his face,” Bayer said.

At the time he was diagnosed his wife Leydi was pregnant and without Delgado’s donation, he may have never become a father.

“My son is everything to me and because of her I was able to see him you know,” an emotional Franco said.

“I have my kids and they go first in my life so in some way I know how he feels about that,” Delgado said.

Franco and his wife’s young son is now a happy and healthy — just like his dad. Franco said he wants more than anything for Delgado to know her gift was worth it.

“I’m a good guy, you know, and I deserved it…so it’s great,” Franco chuckled.


One Comment

  1. Diana Delgado says:

    I want to start by saying thank you for all your comments. I really feel blessed for the opportunity that God gave me to be part of his greatest gift of Life. When I donated I knew it was something big but never imagine how it will feel to finally meet Jonathan. I still don’t know how to express myself it’s been one of the greatest experience in my life. Jonathan and his family our part of mine and I will always cherish this moment May God bless you all. I hope my experience help other to decide to register to become a bone marrow donor this is something you would never regret.

  2. Jayson Franco says:

    Mrs Delgado, thank you so much for saving my brothers life. My brother means everything to me and I just don’t have any other words to express how deeply I appreciate your donation for my brother. Thank you once again. From Jayson and Walkiria Franco

  3. Wanda Flores says:

    Diana Delgado,
    Gracias por salvar la vida de mi hijo,gracias a ti el esta llevado una vida normal y disfrutando
    su hijo al maximo ,el es un buen ser humano,doy Gracias a Dios sobre todo que te puso en
    su camino,te agradesco infinitamente este jesto tan hermoso y que nunca olvidare,eres
    parte de mi familia,todos te queremos.Dios te bendiga y a toda tu familia,que se te apoyaron.
    Espero mas personas como tu se animen a donar la medola osea (Bone marrow transplant)

    Wanda Flores (Mother)

  4. Jose Dominguez says:


    Thank you so much for saving one of my best friends life. He is like a brother to me and you have been an angel. God bless you and your family.

  5. Doris Sujo says:

    I’m so proud of you Diana que emocion tan grande salvo una vida.

  6. joe says:

    Thank you Diana.

  7. gamaniel says:

    MayGod Almighty grant both of you long life.

  8. Midas says:

    The world certainly needs more Diana Delgados. Better to live with a heart of love than that of stone. God bless you Diana.

    1. Panga says:

      Indeed the world does need more people like Diana. Spread the word about becoming a bone marrow or stem cell donor! Get on the registry! http://www.marrow.org

  9. Kemi says:

    Thank God for the gift of life!

  10. ALI MUHAMMAD says:

    with all the mess and bad news around the world it is so good to know that nice kind hearted people still exists in this curel world. May GOD Bless us all. Happy long life to Franco.

  11. yhing says:

    anybody could be an angel..you perfectly met yours just in time.

  12. joseph grino says:

    Protect, save and defend lives. The culture of life against the culture of death.


      Hi & my god bless everyone. I wanted start by saying thank you to Mrs. Delgado, May God bless you today, tomorrow& always & thank you for giving my cousin a second chance in life &for him to live life to the fullest together with his wife , son & the rest of the family we love him very deeply. I know Mrs. Delgado, you know there is a saying about paying forward you have do just what that means & for that god bless you & your family & the doctors & everyone that assisted with Jonathan . Olga Iris Martinez FL Jonathan we love you always……..

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