Kidney recipient, donor in recovery

Simi Valley Acorn | Melissa Simon

LIFESAVER—Tony Falato, left, and Rocky Rhodes are all smiles after a Jan. 19 kidney transplant. Falato was diagnosed with stage 4 renal failure last year, and Rhodes volunteered to donate one of his kidneys. Courtesy of Evelyn Loker

One year after doctors told him he had only months to live, Tony Falato now has a new lease on life and plans to use his time helping others in any way he can.

And Rocky Rhodes, the man who donated a kidney to Falato in January, said the friends are closer than ever after the transplant, despite him having to deal with a few complications from the surgery.

“I’m a blessed human being for sure and I know that I have a responsibility to pay it forward,” Falato told the Simi Valley Acorn. “Rocky is an amazing person and I know that if there were more people like him in the world, it would be a lot better place to live.”

During a routine checkup at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles in February 2015, Falato, 51, learned he had stage 4 renal failure. Without a kidney transplant, doctors said, he had just months to live. Continue reading