Selfless teacher donates kidney

Tolu Kolade, Editor

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Mr. Cogan with his kidney recipient in the hospital after the successful transplant.

Mr. Cogan with his kidney recipient in the hospital after the successful transplant.

While most students and faculty spent their summer under the sun, hanging out with friends and family, and vacationing, one teacher spent his summer recovering from a kidney operation. Mr. Cogan decided to go under the knife and donate one of his kidneys to another father in his community.

The journey to this kidney donation started in November of last year when Mr. Cogan heard that someone in his church was in need of a kidney. Although Mr. Cogan did not know him he did not hesitate to get tested to see if he was a good match.  After he found out he was a match he did not hesitate to  follow through with the donation. After a little over four months of meticulous testing, Mr. Cogan was finally cleared in June for the procedure. Although not related, he and his recipient were a perfect match. On July 28th,. Cogan had surgery with a little fear and a great support system. Mr. Cogan expressed that the staff at the hospital was tremendous; “My wife along with the rest of my family were extremely supportive…my daughter was a little scared but she’s nine,” said Cogan.

Very few faculty knew about his plans to donate his kidney, but Mr. Cogan made sure to remind his seniors on the last day of class before they graduated about his decision.  He said, “there is a bigger picture- a world beyond themselves.”  The words resonated with the seniors because it was more than words, he was actually taking his own advice.  On Facebook several seniors, including Caroline Gottlieb  posted on his time line that he was their hero.

After the surgeon took out Cogan’s kidney it was implanted immediately  to the recipient in the next room. “The fear is that you’re going  in feeling fine and come out feeling terrible,” said Mr. Cogan. He continued on to say, “…but I knew that it would help someone feeling terrible come out feeling fine.”

Once strangers, Mr. Cogan and his recipient are now close friends; “I see him and his family very frequently and our daughters play on the same soccer team,” said Cogan. The expected recovery is three to four months and with nearly six weeks into his recovery, his pain has subsided.  The recipient is also doing really well.  Without the new kidney he would have a very limited life.

When asked if he would recommend anyone else to do an organ transplant, Mr. Cogan replied, “I would advise anyone to help people in anyway they can; for me it came down to knowing that I could help someone live a more normal life. I would advise anyone to do what they can and maybe start with blood donations.”