Man gets surgery after ‘In Need of Kidney’ shirt goes viral - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Man gets surgery after ‘In Need of Kidney’ shirt goes viral

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK, NY -

A New Jersey father of five whose T-shirt saying “In Need of Kidney” went viral has received a life-saving transplant from a stranger.

Robert Leibowitz said he had the surgery last week at a New York hospital and is now “walking on clouds.”

“Everything had to fall into place,” he said on Friday. “The stars had to be aligned.”

Leibowitz, 60, said his background in advertising and the roughly decadelong waiting list for a new kidney led him to make the T-shirt and wear it every day during a vacation to Disney World last summer.

When a picture of the shirt took off on social media, he said, his phone started buzzing with calls, voicemails and messages from random people wanting to help.

“I got my doubts sometimes about humanity, but the fact that I got so many calls, it brought tears to my eyes,” he said.

Medical tests narrowed the donor pool until a man from Indiana, Richie Sully, was found to be a perfect match.

“As bad as my memory is, I will never forget what I told him: ‘Hi, my name is Richie. I saw your post on Facebook, I’m O-positive, I have an extra kidney, you’re welcome to it. I’m not crazy, but I’m from Indiana,’” said Sully, who made multiple trips to New York to prep for the procedure.

The two men quickly became friends. Leibowitz said he took Sully, 39, to New York City landmarks such as Central Park and Grand Central Terminal.

“We had so much in common, no awkwardness,” Leibowitz said. “It was a match made in heaven.”

Leibowitz said his kidneys have been an issue since age 12 and he put himself on a donor list about four years ago.

For Sully, the decision to give his kidney to a man he’d never met was a “no-brainer.”

“I just saw a father that wanted to spend more time with his kids,” he said.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner resigns amid graphic baboon hunting photo controversy

    Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner resigns amid graphic baboon hunting photo controversy

    Monday, October 15 2018 6:29 PM EDT2018-10-15 22:29:39 GMT

    BOISE, Idaho - Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner Blake Fischer has resigned, effective immediately, after photos involving a dead baboon family surfaced from an African hunting trip. Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter announced Monday afternoon that he asked for and received the resignation from Fischer, who was under intense criticism for the graphic photos from last month.

    >>

    BOISE, Idaho - Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner Blake Fischer has resigned, effective immediately, after photos involving a dead baboon family surfaced from an African hunting trip. Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter announced Monday afternoon that he asked for and received the resignation from Fischer, who was under intense criticism for the graphic photos from last month.

    >>
  • Man run over by lawn mower while trying to kill son with chainsaw

    Man run over by lawn mower while trying to kill son with chainsaw

    Monday, October 15 2018 7:38 PM EDT2018-10-15 23:38:29 GMT

    BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) - A man who police say was run over with a lawn mower while trying to kill his son with a chain saw has had to have his leg amputated. The Bristol Herald Courier reports that a warrant for 76-year-old Douglas Ferguson couldn’t be served until Tuesday because of the severity of his injuries.

    >>

    BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) - A man who police say was run over with a lawn mower while trying to kill his son with a chain saw has had to have his leg amputated. The Bristol Herald Courier reports that a warrant for 76-year-old Douglas Ferguson couldn’t be served until Tuesday because of the severity of his injuries.

    >>
  • Hayden man shares story of Grizzly attack while bow hunting in Montana

    Hayden man shares story of Grizzly attack while bow hunting in Montana

    Sunday, October 14 2018 3:11 PM EDT2018-10-14 19:11:51 GMT
    Bob Legasa -  FacebookBob Legasa - Facebook

    BOZEMAN, Mont. - A Facebook post by Bob Legasa of Hayden, Idaho is going viral after he survived a grizzly attack while bow hunting in Montana. Legasa says in the post: "My hunting partner Greg Gibson and I surprised a Sow grizzly and her cub as we were moving in on some Elk. We walked up to with in 12 yards when we all saw each other And before I could even reach for my bear spray she was at full charge.

    >>

    BOZEMAN, Mont. - A Facebook post by Bob Legasa of Hayden, Idaho is going viral after he survived a grizzly attack while bow hunting in Montana. Legasa says in the post: "My hunting partner Greg Gibson and I surprised a Sow grizzly and her cub as we were moving in on some Elk. We walked up to with in 12 yards when we all saw each other And before I could even reach for my bear spray she was at full charge.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Fred Meyer recalls angel food cakes due to possible unlisted allergens

    Fred Meyer recalls angel food cakes due to possible unlisted allergens

    Tuesday, October 16 2018 12:39 AM EDT2018-10-16 04:39:52 GMT
    Cropped Photo: Jared Shields / CC BY-SA 2.0Cropped Photo: Jared Shields / CC BY-SA 2.0

    PORTLAND, Ore. - Fred Meyer stores are recalling Angel food cake bars due to possible unlisted allergens. According to a Fred Meyer spokesperson, the 12-ounce bars may contain milk and soy not listed on the label. Clackamas Bakery initiated the recall when it discovered the Fred Meyer Bakery Angel Food Cake Bar label had been incorrectly applied to packages of cornbread. 

    >>

    PORTLAND, Ore. - Fred Meyer stores are recalling Angel food cake bars due to possible unlisted allergens. According to a Fred Meyer spokesperson, the 12-ounce bars may contain milk and soy not listed on the label. Clackamas Bakery initiated the recall when it discovered the Fred Meyer Bakery Angel Food Cake Bar label had been incorrectly applied to packages of cornbread. 

    >>
  • Sheriff's Office investigating string of mail thefts in Chelan County

    Sheriff's Office investigating string of mail thefts in Chelan County

    Monday, October 15 2018 10:12 PM EDT2018-10-16 02:12:31 GMT

    CHELAN COUNTY, Wash. - The Chelan County Sheriff's Office is asking the public for assistance in locating suspect(s) after a string of mail thefts. Sheriffs have received several complaints of mail theft, including a report from a postal carrier who found mail littering the roadway along their route. 

    >>

    CHELAN COUNTY, Wash. - The Chelan County Sheriff's Office is asking the public for assistance in locating suspect(s) after a string of mail thefts. Sheriffs have received several complaints of mail theft, including a report from a postal carrier who found mail littering the roadway along their route. 

    >>
  • US wants drugmakers to put prices in TV ads

    US wants drugmakers to put prices in TV ads

    Monday, October 15 2018 9:36 PM EDT2018-10-16 01:36:58 GMT

    TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - The federal government wants to force drugmakers to disclose prices for prescription medicines in their TV commercials.    Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said a proposal unveiled Monday would apply to brand-name drugs that are covered by the Medicare and Medicaid programs.    

    >>

    TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - The federal government wants to force drugmakers to disclose prices for prescription medicines in their TV commercials.    Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said a proposal unveiled Monday would apply to brand-name drugs that are covered by the Medicare and Medicaid programs.    

    >>