Son, Dead 17 Years, Is Link That Led To Lifesaving Kidney Donation


NEW HAVEN — A mom given a reprieve from death by a live-donor kidney transplant credits her late son, dead 17 years, for the life-saving gift.

Domenica "Mimi" Leto of New Milford received a kidney May 10 from Jason Gaddy, a childhood friend of Joey Leto, who died in 1999 from heatstroke during a U.S. Marine training exercise at Camp LeJeune, N.C.

"If it wasn't for my son, I never would have known Jason," Leto, 63, said Friday during a celebration of the successful transplant at Yale New Haven Hospital. The hospital had a second reason to celebrate: It was the 1,000th transplant from a living donor in a procedure at Yale New Haven.

A formal portrait of Leto's son, Giuseppe "Joey" Leto, in his dress blue uniform when he graduated from Marine basic training in 1998, was on the table where speakers sat at the event at Yale New Haven Transplant Center. Continue reading
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