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Successful Organ Transplants Make Father’s Day Happy For New York Patients

Surgeries Happened Just In Time For The Weekend Holiday Celebration

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MANHASSET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – One Queens father will have a lot to celebrate this weekend.

Leonard Burke, 32, of Richmond Hills received the gift of life from his 55-year-old father last week after his first kidney transplant failed.

“This is probably going to be one of the best gifts I’ll ever get for Father’s Day,” Burke said Friday.

In 2008, Burke found out his kidneys were failing due to hypertension.

Two years later, he found out his wife was a perfect match and she donated a kidney during a transplant operation on March 29, 2010.

Following the success of the surgery, the Burkes — who were eager to start a family — welcomed their daughter into the world on Nov. 20, 2011.

But this past March, Burke got the heartbreaking news that the kidney donated by his wife was failing.

“I was more disappointed and devastated,” Burke said. “I was shocked in a way because I didn’t feel sick, I didn’t look sick; it just happened.”

That’s when his father stepped in and volunteered to donate a kidney.

“I didn’t think twice, I didn’t hesitate. I just wanted to do this,” Burke’s father, Ronald, said. “It feels really wonderful to know that you can give someone a second chance of living practically a normal life, especially someone very close and dear to you, like your son.”

The kidney was successfully transplanted June 3 at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, just in time for the family to celebrate Father’s Day.

The Burkes are not the only family celebrating a successful transplant.

“You have this vision of what you want your life to be and what you expect, you get married, you expect to have children,” Kevin Pugh told CBS 2′s Maurice Dubois.

Pugh and his family will be celebrating Father’s Day in Lindenhurst following a successful liver transplant at Mount Sinai Medical Center.

“He did very well, actually. He went home pretty quickly after the transplant,” Dr. Leona Kim-Schluger said.

Pugh went home shortly after his surgery, and weeks later he welcomed his daughter, Delaney, into the world.

“It was everything that he was there and right next to me and taking care of me,” Pugh’s wife, Jamie, said.

Delaney is now 8 weeks old, and Kevin said he is grateful for his new chance at life.

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