NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A woman from upstate Ithaca has given a Brooklyn man a priceless gift and a new lease on life.
As CBS2's Alice Gainer reported exclusively Friday, Jerry Fox and Margery Lipenski do not know each other. In point of fact, they just met on Thursday.
But Lipenski was crying when CBS2 visited her at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center on Friday.
"I just wanted to help somebody," she said.
And Lipenski did more than just help. She gave Fox his life back by donating her kidney to him.
"It'll enable me to see my grandchildren, my children, and it'll give me a life, and I want to do something productive with my life," Fox said.
Fox has been on dialysis.
"He's been on dialysis for a number of months, and a live human kidney cleanses the blood 10 times more effectively than dialysis will," said transplant surgery chief Dr. Sandip Kapur.
Lipenski is called what is an altruistic donor, giving her kidney to a stranger out of the goodness of another organ – her heart. But why?
"It's something I've always wanted to do, but things just lined up now," she said.
The surgery on Thursday was a success, according to the doctor. And Fox was full of enthusiasm a day later – her was boxing a Mylar balloon while lying in his hospital bed.
"Today, he's fully awake. He has energy… and he's able to shadowbox," Kapur said.
It was almost hard to tell who got more out of the experience.
"I feel wonderful," Lipenski said. "I feel extremely blessed."
"She transformed my life," said Fox.
Lipenski actually wrote Fox a letter thanking him for allowing her to give her kidney to him. She donated through Kidney Mitzvah and a kidney matchmaker, and hopes others will do the same.
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