A touching story of 'new life' for one local man
PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (WJAR) —
Out of tragedy is born a miracle for a Little Compton man thanks to a selfless mother from California.
37 year old Jason Ruscigno died tragically in August after he was hit by a car on vacation in New Orleans with his mother, Stephanie. The car that hit him was rented using a stolen identity. It was driven by a wanted man who is still at large. After Jason died, his mother wanted to donate his organs to those who needed them most. She put an ad in a local paper near Sacramento, and somehow it got back to a Rhode Island woman whose brother was in desperate need of a kidney. Four months later, Gary Ferrell is alive and well courtesy of Jason's kidney.
"I was on the (dialysis) machine for a year and a month and I was ready to give up. I was ready to lay down in bed and give up," said Ferrell.
Ferrell was taken to the Seaconnet Sportsman's Club in Portsmouth on Saturday night by family members. He thought he was going for a Christmas toy drive, but soon, he realized everyone was there for him, and that's when Stephanie stepped out of a back room to share an embrace.
"I knew it was going to be good, but I didn't know it was going to be this good and I didn't know it was going to be this fantastic," said Ruscigno. "And it's done more for me in the healing than you can imagine. I'm the one that's benefiting."
The meeting was made possible, in large part, by retired Portsmouth police officer Scott Sullivan. He doesn't want to take any credit, but without him, this Christmas gift may have never been received.
"This is great," said Ferrell. "This is better than a present. I get to see who saved me."
"It's like I have a piece of my son and he can go on," added Ruscigno.