NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – An NYPD detective didn’t think twice about making a life-saving gift to a woman he hardly knew.
CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reports on what inspired him to donate his kidney.
Before Wednesday, NYPD detective Michael Lollo and Ruth Tisak had only interacted on social media and text messages.
When they met, tears of joy and a long heartwarming marks the occasion.
“When I saw his face I was overjoyed that I finally am here to thank him in person,” said Tisak.
A few weeks after her December transplant surgery, Tisak and her husband reached out to Lollo on Facebook, just on a hunch he was her donor.
His response: “All I said was hi. I think you have my left kidney.”
“I died when I read that,” said Tisak. “I said, ‘Oh my God, he’s funny.’”
“It’s just surreal that an organ of mine is standing right next to me,” said Lollo. “Not in my body.”
Lollo was inspired to become an organ donor after a fellow police officer needed a kidney, but he wasn’t a match, so he joined a kidney exchange program.
When Tisak’s husband’s kidney wasn’t a match for her, he donated it to someone else and Lollo’s went to Tisak.
“I got blessed that I got his kidney, that he just did it because he’s got a very big heart,” said Tisak.
A big enough heart for this New York Yankee fan to set up their first meeting at Citi Field because Tisak is a long time Mets fan.
“I don’t consider myself to be a hero,” said Lollo.
“Yeah you are,” said Tisak.
They are now forever connected and Tisak says she’s forever grateful, a lifelong friendship fittingly celebrated on this field of dreams.
The pair are hoping their story will inspire others to register to become organ donors.