SAYVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A 9/11 first responder is asking for help from the public, as he needs a kidney transplant.

As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, John Coughlin of Sayville is a 59-year-old father of three and a Sept. 11, 2001 first responder. He needs a kidney transplant after being diagnosed with a number of 9/11-related illnesses.

It was right after he underwent open heart surgery in 2013 that Coughlin was told his kidneys were failing. Right now, they are each working at 17 percent.

“It just started getting progressively worse, and I was recommended to have bariatric surgery. I had that, so I think that slowed the process down, but for some reason over the last year, it just sped up the process,” Coughlin said.

The retired member of the NYPD Emergency Services Unit said he has seen what happens to quality of life when a person is on dialysis.

“Because then you’re like married to dialysis, and I always said I never wanted to go through that,” Coughlin said.

Anyone interested in learning about donating can call Stony Brook University Hospital’s hotline at (631) 444-2209.

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