As my beloved friend Barbara Bahny lay mortally ill, those closest to her waited for a miracle.
“It’s a very strange feeling, praying for someone to die so a loved one can live,” our dear pal, Richard Zimmerman, told me.
Barbara had recently moved back to New York City after living in Washington, DC, for her dream job in public relations, before falling gravely sick. The many who adored her gathered at her hospital bedside, hoping, amid overwhelming pangs of guilt, that another person’s devastating break would spell lasting life for her.
It didn’t happen.
My friend, whom I’d met in junior high school in Queens, who shared my love of this country and of Israel, of foreign travel, pop culture and nights on the town, died in December 2015 of complications related to sarcoidosis while at the top of the list for a lung transplant that never came. She was 56 years old.
Yet despite unfathomable grief, I have hope that Barbara’s story might help save lives. It demonstrates that organ donors are desperately needed, particularly in New York state, where the rate of donorship is at rock bottom. Continue reading