By writer to www.oleantimesherald.com
BRADFORD, Pa. — We’ve all seen it: “Primarily based on a real story” connected to a film that drew us in and stored us engaged for an hour or so. Typically, a montage of images and real-life particulars follows.
A Hallmark film, sharing each the acquainted phrase and images — even that includes a cameo from the real-life couple — did its half to alter the lives of two Bradford residents.
John Fedak watched the film, “As soon as Upon a Christmas Miracle,” through the vacation season final yr.
“Final yr, I used to be sitting round and watching Hallmark Motion pictures, and there was a film the place a woman wanted a liver transplant from a residing donor,” Fedak defined.
He famous the story included the woman assembly her donor and the 2 falling in love.
“On the finish, it mentioned it was based mostly on a real story, and that they have been married,” Fedak mentioned. “I assumed, ‘Wow, you could possibly donate a part of your liver as a residing particular person.’ I had by no means considered that earlier than, as a result of it’s not one thing that folks discuss. It’s not a widely known factor. It stayed in my head. I assumed, ‘That’s cool. If I might do this, I’d.’”
Not like the character within the Hallmark film, who met her donor after he had dedicated to the donation, Fedak is aware of Ross Neidich. They stay inside miles of one another within the Bradford space and attend the identical church.
Fedak even knew, earlier than the method to find out his eligibility to change into a kidney donor, that he and Neidich had one vital consider frequent.
“I knew that getting in, that there was a larger probability that I wouldn’t have the ability to donate to Ross,” he mentioned. “I knew that Ross and my blood sort have been the identical, however I additionally know that there’s extra than simply blood sort that determines a match.”
Fedak was “form of stunned” that he was really a match with Neidich, given the plausibility that individuals who stay so shut and attend the identical church could be fitted to the process.
“They do discuss the truth that it’s important to have this and this and this … being a match to somebody is extra concerned,” Fedak mentioned.
Fedak defined that he had talked the thought over together with his spouse and daughter earlier than shifting ahead. He additionally has a son, who was in Pittsburgh on the time. As soon as his household was on board, the precise course of to find out eligibility started.
Testing to change into an organ donor includes a number of visits and extra invasive testing than a standard go to to 1’s main care doctor. Fedak mentioned the workforce talked to him about the potential for uncovering a difficulty together with his well being that he was not conscious of, which was one thing many individuals might not even consider when opting to donate an organ.
“Autoimmune, viral, you title it they usually test you for it,” Fedak mentioned. “There are issues I discovered about me that I had no clue of.”
One factor that Fedak was sure of was his want to assist somebody — even when it couldn’t be the person he knew.
“I mentioned, ‘If I’m not a match for Ross, I’m prone to be a match for another person within the space, there are lots of people that want kidneys.’ The physician mentioned, ‘Properly that’s doable,’” Fedak mentioned. “I mentioned that, if I’m a match for another person, I nonetheless wish to donate my kidney.”
The donation workforce requested Fedak if he wished to be a part of a sequence of donation, if he was not a match for Neidich. This was not one thing Fedak was acquainted with, so that they defined it was a course of the place an individual prepared to donate will not be a match for the meant recipient (buddy or beloved one). As a substitute, they donate to somebody, and somebody near that particular person donates to a different, till there’s a chain of donations that lead again to the unique meant recipient.
“I had by no means heard of that earlier than,” Fedak mentioned. “I’ve by no means seen that publicized. Residing donation is infrequently publicized.”
The process occurred Nov. 19 at Hamot Medical Heart in Erie. Each Fedak and Neidich have been doing nicely this previous week.
“I can’t say sufficient about Jon’s friendship; giving up a kidney for me,” Neidich mentioned. “And it’s working. It’s going to assist me in the long term. I do know I’ve a protracted row to hoe, and there are particular drugs I’ve to take the remainder of my life to maintain the kidney from rejecting.
“However it’s a small value to pay for normalcy.”
Requested what he’s grateful for this yr, Ross Neidich didn’t hesitate, though feelings have been evident in his voice,
“It’s fairly straightforward to say; a brand new kidney, a brand new lease on normalcy. It’s a miracle.”
Patty Neidich additionally famous that in surgical procedure, Fedak’s spouse, Lisa, helped her by means of the expertise. As a result of coronavirus restrictions, every affected person at Hamot is simply permitted one help particular person at a time and solely allowed to have two complete: a main customer and a secondary customer to return in when the first takes a break.
“We’re so grateful to Jon and his household,” Patty Neidich mentioned. “Lisa was supporting her husband, I used to be supporting Ross. We held palms and talked for the whole time that Jon and Ross have been in surgical procedure. She was my rock, and I believe she felt the identical.
“It’s actually form of neat in the truth that we’ve identified one another for years, our households are intertwined by means of church and being buddies,” she mentioned. “It’s simply an expertise I’m nonetheless making an attempt to fathom.”