Firefighter needs new kidney donor after wife's freak accident

Tim Zyla’s wife was a perfect match to be his kidney donor, but is no longer healthy enough to donate after a freak gym accident

By FireRescue1 Staff

WEST CALDWELL, N.J. — A firefighter who is battling kidney disease is now searching for a new kidney donor after his wife, who was a perfect match, suffered a freak accident and is no longer healthy enough to donate.

NBC New York reported that West Caldwell Fire Department firefighter Tim Zyla has a degenerative kidney condition that leaves him with less than 18 percent function in the organ, and it’s only getting worse.

A transplant was planned after Zyla learned that his wife, Ann Marie, is a perfect match for blood and tissue type.

“It was actually overwhelming when I got that phone call,” Ann Marie said.

The plans were canceled after Ann Marie suffered a freak gym accident that resulted in two torn arteries in her neck, leaving her at risk for a stroke.

“It was like a punch in the gut,” she said. “We’re almost there. We’re jumping through hoop after hoop.”

Zyla’s children want to donate to him but he won’t allow it, because his son Brandon has the same condition and may one day need a donation of his own.

“It’s upsetting because, you know, it’s our father,” Brandon Zyla said. “We’re just hoping that everything will be fine at the end of the day.”

The current wait time for a kidney transplant is five to seven years. Zyla’s doctors said if his condition gets worse he could get dialysis, but Zyla is hoping someone will come forward as a match for him.

If you’d like to find out if you are a match for Zyla, call St. Barnabas Hospital Living Donor Institute at 973-322-5346.


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