Lifesaver: Neighbor donates kidney to former Rutgers player

Posted: Updated:
EDISON -

A former New Jersey football coach and Rutgers player received a life-saving gift from his neighbor – a kidney.

Last year, Robert Connizzo, of Little Falls, made a selfless and heroic decision to donate his kidney to Nick Sauter.

The surgery performed two weeks ago was a success and both men are doing fine.

It’s not the first time Connizzo has saved a life. He was a firefighter and EMS worker.

“It takes a team. You can't do it yourself. I'm lucky that I have people like Rob step-up," says Sauter.

Sauter's kidneys were at the point of failure since 2017. Dialysis treatments three times a week was the only thing keeping him alive.

Sauter's sister-in-law kick-started his fight to stay alive with a Facebook post pleading for a donor.

"She had people contacting her from overseas, most of the states in the East Coast. One person from California. It's interesting that my donor was two houses away,” says Sauter.

Sauter is paying it forward. He's been visiting his former dialysis center and serves as a cheerleader for those receiving the treatment. Connizzo says he plans to volunteer at the hospital where their procedure was performed and talk to those interested in organ donations.

 

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