9/11 first responder from Sayville reaches out for new kidney
A former member of the NYPD's Emergency Services Unit who responded to the World Trade Center attack is in need of a kidney after contracting a 9/11-related illness.
John Coughlin, 59, of Sayville, worked at the Ground Zero site until he retired from the force in 2002.
The father of three has since contracted a kidney disease, and will need a new kidney in order to survive. Coughlin is hoping a donor will be able to step up and save his life.
"I've got three children, two in college, and I'm only 59 years old and I don't feel like leaving this world any time soon," says Coughlin.
John Feal, who also worked at Ground Zero, has become an outspoken advocate for first responders. He spoke with News 12 at the 9/11 memorial in Nesconset that bears the names of nearly 1,000 people who have died from illnesses related to the aftermath of the attacks.
"John Coughlin dies without a kidney. John Coughlin goes on this wall…if he doesn't get a kidney," said Feal. "I'm just tired of seeing my friends die."
Coughlin's best hope is to find a live donor who is a match. Though removing a kidney is not minor surgery, doctors say donors go on to live perfectly normal lives.
"Most people go home within 48 hours and they're back to full activities within several weeks," says Dr. Frank Darras.
Anyone interested in learning about donating can call Stony Brook University Hospital's hotline at 631-444-2209.