New Jersey resident, Frank Piccillo needed a rare double organ transplant to survive both live and lung failure, NBC News New York reports. The Jersey City school principal needed to retire early as his condition worsened. “I saw him everyday gasping for air, laying in bed, couldn’t get out of bed,” his son Nick Piccillo said.
The 69-year-old needed the double organ transplant to live however the procedure is so rare it's actually never been done in New York before. “These were very difficult times to consider doing such a risky procedure,” Dr. Juan Rocca, a transplant surgeon at Montefiore, said. However on July 1, 2020, Dr. Rocca performed the surgery and he survived making him New York state's first-ever lung-liver transplant. Only months later Frank was back to riding his bike!
“His quality of life and his life expectancy is really rewarding for the whole transplant team,” Rocca said. “If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here right now,” Frank said about Dr. Rocca. Not only is he out riding his bike but he was able to be there for the wedding of his son, Justin whose wedding was postponed a year to allow Frank to recover after his surgery.
“It’s going to be a wonderful wedding. It’s just so exciting. I never had a son who got married before, and you know, I’d love to have a grandson or a granddaughter, but I’ll wait for that,” Frank said in preparation for the big day.
Watch a video of the wedding here.