Monday, January 14, 2019

Rabbi Makes Second Organ Donation To Stranger

A New Jersey Rabbi is taking the spirit of giving to a whole other level.

Rabbi Ephriam 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 Ephriam.

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 Ephriam.

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, Ephriam’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.

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