Man donates kidney to ailing Bergen Beach pal

Richard Webster and Anthony Gallo recuperating following surgery.
Photo by John Vitollo

Bergen Beach

A New Jersey man went above and beyond for his Bergen Beach pal last month, when he laid down on the operating table to give the greatest gift of all — a kidney!

Doctors diagnosed Bergen Beacher Anthony Gallo with kidney failure 18 months ago, and while many people kept him in their prayers, Richard Webster, Gallo’s friend of 30 years, decided to go the extra mile.

With the Gallo clan’s history of diabetes and kidney failure, his family and friends weren’t surprised to discover his condition, but Webster’s decision to not only get tested, but — upon discovering he was a perfect match — to ultimately donate his precious organ blew them away.

“What was really a shock was my husband was a match,” said Maureen Webster, Richard Webster’s wife and the Gallos’ lifelong friend. “I think it’s a miracle.”

After months of dieting, working out, and hospital tests, Webster lost the 30 pounds necessary for him to donate one of his healthy kidneys and the pair of friends finally went under the knife in late July.

Waking up from the operation at St. Barnabas in Livingston with one healthy kidney each, the best buds discovered they weren’t the only ones to undergo surgery that day.

The Webster’s 11 year-old Peekapoo, Molli, had to go into surgery too when her gallbladder suddenly burst. Today, Maureen Webster says Gallo, Webster, and Molli are all on the road to recovery.

“It’s two weeks today now actually and they’re doing great,” said Silver Gallo, Gallo’s wife. “Thank God for our friends. They gave my husband his life back and his future, we didn’t know how long he would make it.”

— Elizabeth Winn

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