NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — A Staten Island man has credited Facebook with saving his life.
Salvatore Grande was in desperate need of an organ transplant when he said that an ‘angel’ reached out online.
“I really and truly feel like she is a miracle sent to me from heaven,” Grande told CBS 2’s Scott Rapoport.
Six months ago, Michele Love, a Christian reverend from Maryland, and Grande, 70, had never met. Now, their lives are intrinsically intertwined in a miraculous way.
“I have my husband back because of you. Thank you,” Grande’s wife Laraine told Love.
In the spring of 2012, Salvatore Grande was in need of a kidney transplant. He was on dialysis as a result of kidney failure.
Doctors told Grande that only a kidney from a live donor would help. The waiting list for a kidney from a deceased donor was 10 years long.
“He may not even live that long on dialysis with all his medical problems,” said Dr. Shamkant Mulgaonkar, Chief of Renal and Pancreas Transplant Division at St. Barnabas Medical Center.
On New Year’s Day, Grande’s daughter took to Facebook and posted about her father’s need for a kidney. She prayed that someone compatible, with B-positive blood would see it and come forward. She was praying for a miracle.
What the Grande’s didn’t know at the time was that 170 miles away in Maryland a complete stranger was praying that she could be the kidney donor for someone in need.
“I just felt that the lord wanted me to be a donor,” Rev. Love said.
Rev. Love, who is B-positive, came across the Facebook post and knew what she had to do.
“Giving Mr. Grande life was never even a question in my mind,” Love said.
On July 1, Michele’s kidney was transplanted into Grande at St. Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey. The procedure went well and an indelible bond between the two, and their families, was created.
“Now I have him back, thanks to Michelle,” Grande said.
Love said that her family completely supported her decision to be a donor. Her three daughters from Maryland were at the hospital on the day of the surgery.
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