TEANECK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A New Jersey Rabbi is taking the spirit of giving to a whole other level.
Rabbi Ephraim Simon worked a full day and spent time with two of his nine children, but just a short time ago he literally gave of himself in a whole new way, reports CBS2’s Tara Jakeway.
“I just got back from Cleveland from donating my liver to a man I didn’t know,” said Ephraim.
This organ donation is not the first time the 50-year-old made such a sacrifice for another. Nine years ago he donated a kidney to a stranger.
“To bring them health and to bring them life, and to bring a husband back to his wife and a father back to his children, to me was such a powerful experience,” said Ephraim.
That husband, father and lucky recipient of one-third of Simon’s liver is Adam Levitz.
The Syosset native and father of three children was gravely ill and in nearby Long Island, but many New York State Hospitals don’t allow for living donors to donate multiple organs.
The get around that restriction, the duo flew to the Cleveland Clinic where the operation was a success. The flights for both men and their wives were paid for by the National Living Donor Assistance Center.
Just 20 days later, CBS2 was there to capture the moment the two reunited.
Through this emotional moment for the two new buddies and their families now bonded forever.
“I can see my twins graduate high school this year, my twins, and see my little guy go on to seventh grade,” said Levitz.
“If God forbid, if one of my kids were in need, I would hope that someone would step up like my husband did,” said Nechamy Simon, Ephraim’s wife.
“Now I have the awareness of organ donation and the option of just giving someone’s life back,” said daughter Sarah Simon.
For the Simon family, they wanted people to know you can be an organ donor and live a long healthy life, even if you do it twice.
Register For Donations
Looking to help pass along the give of life? Register your intentions via these websites:
- New York: New York State Donate Life Registry Enrollment Form
- New Jersey: Donate Life Registry
- Connecticut: Donate Life New England
Donation and Transplantation Organizations
OrganDonor.gov, the U.S. Government Information on Organ Donation and Transplantation website, lists dozens of links to get more information about specific types of medical donations.
- American Board of Transplant Coordinators
- American Foundation for Donation and Transplantation
- American Society of Nephrology
- American Society of Transplant Surgeons
- American Society of Transplantation
- Association of Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation
- Association of Organ Procurement Organizations
- Chris Klug Foundation
- Donate Life America
- Donate Life Hollywood
- International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation
- James Redford Institute for Transplant Awareness
- National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program
- National Donor Family Council
- North American Transplant Coordinator’s Organization
- Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network
- Organ Donation and Transplantation Alliance
- Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients
- Transplant Recipients International Organization, Inc.
- United Network for Organ Sharing
- American Association of Tissue Banks
- Blood and Marrow Transplant Information Network
- Eye Bank Association of America
- Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation
- National Marrow Donor Program
- National Bone Marrow Transplant Link
- Tissue Banks International
Related Health Organizations
- American Diabetes Association
- American Heart Association
- American Kidney Fund
- American Liver Foundation
- American Lung Association
- American Medical Association
- Chronic Disease Research Group of the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation
- Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International
- National Kidney Foundation
- National Medical Association