Mayor ‘Back at Helm’ Following Kidney Transplant
By Robert Kilpatrick Courier Staff Writer
Publication: Shore Publishing
Mayor April Capone Almon was described as being "back at the helm" last week following surgery April 8 to transplant her kidney to a fellow town resident.
The successful operation was performed at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Deputy Director of Town Affairs Paul Hongo, Jr., said the mayor was discharged over the weekend of April 10 and 11.
"It's amazing technology," he said, referring to her speedy return from hospitalization.
"She's back at the helm," but staying at home right now, Hongo said. "It's amazing. That's how she lives-surgery one day, back to work soon after. She's taking it day to day before coming back to the office…Now, she's swinging by, picking up messages."
"I am in total, total admiration for what she did. It's a shining example. You don't hear of it too often," said George Marcello, a champion of organ donation whose Torch of Life march from Alaska to Argentina stopped in East Haven in March, from his home in Toronto.
Hongo said the mayor hoped to "keep it quiet and sometime in the future…tell the story of how it all came to be," but said he relented when a daily newspaper cornered him for an interview.
Hongo said the kidney recipient is "doing very well," and that the mayor wanted to introduce him later, but for now keep the identity confidential.
The mayor confided in February that she was hoping to donate a kidney to a town resident and was only waiting to see if there was a compatible match.
"It has to be compatible," she said then. "I wouldn't do anything to compromise the recipient's health." She intended to "bring awareness of live organ donations" to the public's attention.
In March, she met the torch delegation in front of Town Hall and proclaimed "Step by Step, Torch of Life Day" in East Haven, urging "all citizens to support organ donation on a daily basis."
In the U.S., 36 percent of the 16,516 kidney transplants in 2008 were from live donors.