PLEASANTVILLE, NY (CBSNewYork) – The coronavirus pandemic has held up organ transplants and unfortunately three times as many people died waiting for one this year.
A Westchester man now sees his health deteriorate while waiting for a kidney, but he doesn’t lose hope.
Phil Alderman worships his 11-year-old son Ethan and wife Elisabeth, who has survived from breast cancer since 2013.
“I remember saying to him when I was worried,” Well, cancer is aggressive, “and he said,” So we will too, “Elisabeth Alderman told Lisa Rozner of CBS2.” And I know that this is a big reason for my survival. “
Now the family is aggressively looking for a living kidney donor, blood type O, to ensure Phil’s survival. They post on social media and their vehicles.
“I really don’t want to lose him,” said Ethan.
RELATED STORY: Thanks to the Kidney Chain, Bronx Man is finally getting a much-needed transplant
Days before hospitals canceled operations, the family held a briefing session at their local synagogue and learned that potential donors were testing on his behalf at Montefiore Medical Center, but the month-long process was halted due to the coronavirus.
“It was devastating. You know, we went out of our way to find something, and during those months I felt my health deteriorate, ”said Phil Alderman.
He now has trouble walking and sleeping, and gets tired easily.
He says the blood levels show he is a few points away from needing dialysis, which will worsen his health and make it difficult to work full-time as a school psychologist for high-risk middle school students in Brooklyn.
“They come back years later and tell me about the things they do and the impact I’ve had on their lives,” said Phil Alderman. “I feel like I have so much more to offer, um, and I want to be a part of it. I want to be there for my son. I want to see him grow up. “
With a second wave of coronavirus cases in New York, doctors are saying more families are in need now.
“One of the effects of severe COVID-19 is sepsis and then possibly organ damage, and one of them is kidney failure. Hence, the need for certain organs like kidneys has increased,” said Dr. Bruce Y. Lee, professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health.
RELATED STORY: Organ Donations Are Recovering to Pre-COVID Levels in New York
The bright spot is that both living and deceased donations have returned to pre-COVID levels, and the Aldermans pray that Phil will be one of the record-breaking transplants taking place in 2020.
The Aldermans have set up an email address for interested potential donors at Kidneyforphilip@gmail.com.
The Montefiore Medical Center Moses Campus also has a transplant center that interested potential donors can contact 718-920-4718. Once they interview you, you will be assigned a transplant coordinator along with a social worker to guide you through the process.
MORE FROM CBS NEW YORK
You can get the latest news, sports, and weather on our brand new CBS New York app. Download here.