Officer who responded to kosher grocery shooting in need of a kidney

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It has been one month since a domestic terror attack in Jersey City left four people dead, including a police officer.

Detective Joseph Seals was shot and killed during a shootout with the gunmen in a cemetery. The gunmen would then go on to kill three more people inside the JC Kosher Grocery Store on Martin Luther King Drive.

One of the first officers to respond to the scene was Officer Anthony “Sonny” Silver. But now Silver is dealing with his own battle – he is waiting on a kidney donation.

Silver, a 42-year veteran of the Jersey City Police Department, is one of 4,000 New Jerseyans waiting for an organ transplant. He has been waiting for 15 months for a kidney. News 12 New Jersey spoke with Silver at his Rutherford home after he completed a four-hour round of dialysis – a three-day-a-week commitment after work.

“It takes it out of you. I feel it for a couple of hours. The next day, I rebound, perfectly fine,” he says.

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Silver reflects on the one-month anniversary of the kosher grocery store shooting.

“I’m screaming on the air, ‘Get me a car. Shut the traffic off. They’re still coming up,’” he says. “I pulled down a block and blocked off the roadway, because traffic was still coming up MLK and shots are being fired across the road.”

Silver says that he is used to helping people, which is why he is still working. He says that it is difficult to look for help in the form of a donation.

Silver is not alone. There are currently 36,000 people across the country in need of an organ transplant. The New Jersey Sharing Network reports that in 2019 they had 206 organ donors lending to 601 organs being transplanted. The were 173 living donors also last year.

Silver says that he found out his kidneys were failing 18 months ago during a routine checkup.

“I didn’t really feel it. That’s why they call it the silent killer. You don’t feel it,” he says.

He is now in the position of leaning on his wife and four kids for support, something he says is new for him.

“That’s something I’m not comfortable with. I always like to be the one they lean on. I don’t like to be the one that I have to lean on anybody,” he says.

Donations and transplants are up in New Jersey. The New Jersey Sharing Network says it is due in part to awareness, which has people noting on their driver’s licenses that they are willing to be an organ donor.

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