Home / Englewood man, donor undergo kidney transplant surgery

Englewood man, donor undergo kidney transplant surgery

Reporter: Sydney Persing
Published: Updated:

Sandy Bilsky got his kidney.

The Englewood man and his donor, Lori Klein, underwent surgery at Tampa General Hospital on Tuesday. Both their surgeries were a success.

Sandy found his donor after former WINK News reporter Erika Jackson began reporting on his search. He drove around town in a car with a sign on the back asking for a kidney. He even attached a sign to his tricycle asking for the organ.

Lori, a surgical technician, saw his story on WINK News and was moved to donate her own. She got into medicine because she was inspired by her late sister who needed a kidney transplant of her own. On Thursday, she was on the other side of the OR table.

Now, Sandy not only has a new lease on life he also has a new mission.

“I couldn’t believe I can be so lucky. It’s just beginning now to take shape in my brain, this is really happening. And I’m going to be able to just spend more time with my wife, my children and my grandchildren. And the people that I love,” Sandy told WINK News ahead of his surgery. “I mean, there’s just, there is no better gift than what Lori is doing and, and both of us have talked about it. And we just wish that more people would step up forward and realize that if you are totally healthy, you can live the same wonderful life with one kidney as you can.”

Sandy and Lori hope their story will move others to help.

“I hope somebody’s seeing me go through this process, that it is doable. And it would get more people to do something like this,” she said.

Sandy said he is now going to figure out how he can give back.

“One of the things I want to do is I want to be a mentor. I’m going to be a mentor for people who are going through just what I have gone through,” Sandy said. “That would make me feel good.”