Long Island News

Woman donates kidney to boss, gets fired

Monday, April 23, 2012

A woman on Long Island says she was fired from her job after donating a kidney.

She did it to help out her boss, who was in need of a transplant and now she feels betrayed.

It's just about the biggest favor you could do for a friend.

"You would think that when someone is given the gift of life they're filled with gratitude," said Debbie Stevens, kidney donor.

But after donating her kidney for her friend and boss Jackie Brucia, Debbie Stevens says she never heard the words "thank you". Instead, she heard "you're fired".

"I felt like someone ripped my heart out I started to cry, sobbing pain," Stevens said.

Stevens worked in the finance department at the Atlantic Automall in West Islip, where Brucia, the dealer's comptroller, was in desperate need of a transplant but too low on the donor list.

So out of the goodness of her heart, Stevens says she volunteered to donate her own kidney.

But when both women returned to work, Stevens says complications made her recovery more difficult.

And instead of sympathy, she claims Brucia gave her the cold shoulder, pressuring her to work and even transferring her to a sister dealership 50 miles away where she says eventually she was forced out.

"She's lost her job, she's lost one kidney, she's an emotional wreck," said Lenard Leeds, attorney.

Now, her lawyers have filed suit against Brucia and Atlantic Automall, where a manager said Brucia was not at work Monday.

Eyewitness News did find a car with dealer plates in her Babylon driveway, but no one came to the door.

Stevens says she doesn't know if she wants her job back, but when asked if she wants her kidney back, she wasn't sure what to say.

"Part of me was taken away. I cry a lot. (She broke your heart.) She did break my heart. I'm trying to find out a reason why it has to be like this," Stevens said.

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long island, west islip, long island news, josh einiger
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