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Barrington man gets new kidney during pandemic

Fred Pastore and his wife{ }Karen. (WJAR)
Fred Pastore and his wife Karen. (WJAR)
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A Barrington man received a new kidney during this pandemic.

"He's everybody's feel good story," said Karen Pastore of her husband of almost 50 years, Fred.

For three and a half years, he was on the kidney transplant list.

Then, this pandemic arrived and they wondered how much longer he might have to wait, especially with a change in policy at the hospital.

"We are using right now just deceased donors only," said Dr. Adena Osband, a transplant surgeon at Rhode Island Hospital. This policy in effect to keep living donors safe, since this surgery is elective for them.

Against all odds, Rhode Island Hospital did find Fred's match on April 13.

The hardest part for Karen was dropping him off.

"It was very, very difficult to drop somebody you love off and know I'm not going to see him either never again, or until after all this is over," recalled Karen.

"We are being careful about the kidneys we are using," said Osband, who performed Fred's transplant.

She said all donor kidneys are tested.

"We are taking extra precautions. Right now our recipients are going to a different floor than us to make sure they're away from known covid patients or suspected," said Osband.

"It ran smooth as silk," said Fred. "It gives you a little confidence when there's no hiccups along the way."

Osband kept in touch with Karen.

"She called me before and then she called me at one o'clock in the morning. I could just tell that she was gleeful," said Karen.

"It's like winning the lottery. My philosophy is that I'm doing everything they tell me to do very diligently because the chances of hitting a second lottery are very minuscule,” said Fred.

Fred said he's looking forward to gardening and just being with his bride. The feeling is mutual.

"The people at Rhode Island Hospital have been wonderful. The support has been wonderful and I got my husband back," said Fred.

The Pastores will celebrate 50 years on Nov. 28.

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