NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It was an emotional homecoming for 71-year-old Michael Mazzei at his Manhasset hair salon on Friday.
For more than 20 years, Mazzei has worked side by side with his son, Jamie. Now they share more than just a profession after Jamie donated a kidney to his father earlier this month.
Mona Rivera of 1010 WINS was the first to report on the story before the transplant. On Friday, customers and staff were overjoyed to see and hear that the Mazzei’s were on the mend.
“I am like happy, you know, that my son gave his kidney and it was such a perfect match was incredible and we’re so grateful,” Michael Mazzei said.
Both Michael and Jamie were reunited with their medical team at North Shore University Hospital on Friday.
Ten days after the surgery, Dr. Ernesto Molmenti, who performed the transplant, said he believes it was a match made in heaven.
“The transplant was incredibly successful,” Molmenti said. “I can’t recall any…never so good.”
“Michael is very lucky to have had such a great match with Jamie. Usually, there are six markers and to have five out of six, it’s a very, very good match,” Molmenti said.
It’s been life changing for both men.
Michael Mazzei has acute diabetes and found out he needed a kidney transplant three months ago. His son immediately got tested to see if he was a match.
“It was made very clear to me that I could live a completely normal life with one kidney. So with that being said, the choice was just obvious,” Jamie Mazzei said.
“Jamie is a giver. I think with everything and everybody,” said Jamie’s wife, Violet.
“It’s just a miracle and there’s no one that deserves miracles more than Michael,” client Denise Silverberg said.
“You know, I’m just so happy I was able to do it and I’m so happy with the outcome. I mean, he looks great, you know, and I feel good today so what more can you ask for?” said Jamie.
Employees at the salon have raised money and plan to make a donation to a kidney foundation, hoping to raise awareness about organ donation.
Both Michael and Jamie expect to be back to work at their salon by the end of the summer.
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