By: Jen Russon
Brunna Martins, an organ donor, mother, and NICU nurse from Ft. Lauderdale, just marked her six-month ‘kidney-versary’ with recipient Frank Molino following a successful transplant on October 6.
The Martins and Molino families are now the best of friends, celebrating Molino’s 59th birthday on March 5.
Though the decision to donate her healthy kidney to Molino was not without significant risks, Martins said she was at peace with her decision before ever going under the knife.
“It wasn’t courage. My time to go is my time to go, so I’m going to do as much good as possible and experience as many life experiences as I can, “ said Martins.
On Wednesday night, Martins’ act of kindness was recognized by the city of Coral Springs, where coincidentally, Molino is employed as a Parks and Rec coordinator.
Molino and his family, also attending virtually, watched as the woman they call ‘an angel’ was presented with a proclamation for her altruism.
“Without my father, I never would have made the connection that I did with Frank,” said Martins.
She told the city commission her decision to undergo a nephrectomy, which required four months of recovery time and missed work, was inspired by how much Molino reminded her of her own father.
Receiving recognition from the City of Coral Springs, with her father and young son at her side, was both humbling — and a rush.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect,” said Martins. “I probably would’ve said more, but my brain shut off. I was excited to share my story and promote living donors this month, National Donor Month.”
Each year About 5,000 living kidney donations are performed in the United States, with Martins’ and the deep nuances of her inspiring story representing just one of them.
According to the Mayo Clinic, living donor kidney transplants are the most studied type of donation, with more than 50 years of follow-up data.
Studies show donors like Martins will not die any sooner if they have not donated; the Molino and Martins family remain close and grateful for one another following the life-changing event.
“My time is borrowed. I’m going to do my best by it,” said Martins.
If you would like to donate to the fund started by the Molino family to help their angel with expenses accrued last year during the kidney transplant, click here.
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