Firefighter who received transplant from stranger pays it forward

Shirley firefighter Al Deshler was given a kidney by an acquaintance of his, an ER nurse. Now, Al is paying it forward by reaching out to a Fitchburg firefighter who desperately needs help.

>> Read more trending stories  

Al sat by his phone for more than 5 years, hoping for the call that the hospital had found him a suitable kidney donor.  But in the end, the donor ended up being a nurse, he frequently saw while he was at work.

Kerry Krasinskas, a nurse and mom of two, made the selfless offer. And in January, the pair underwent surgery. Now, 8 months later, both are healthy and feeling great!

"There's no words, no words to even describe, no gifts, no money that describes my appreciation for how much you have changed my life and my daughter thanks you," Al said to Kerry.

Kerry wears a gift from Al around her neck, a kidney charm. Although no gift could ever truly serve to pay Kerry back, that's why Al has found another way to show his appreciation: And it again involves someone he met on the job.

He's helping Rob DaCosta, a Fitchburg firefighter where Al just happened to be working as a paramedic and it turns out Rob also suffers from end stage renal disease and needs a kidney donation.

But as luck would have it, Rob got a call Tuesday saying that there may be a donor available for him.

Rob says he is in shock and we are still waiting to learn more about the potential donor. Until then, anyone interested in being on the list to donate to Rob should mention his name in an email to: or call Tufts' Transplant coordinator at 617-636-5592.

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.