WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Two best friends are now sharing a set of kidneys.
Denise Constantine and her husband Dennis have been best friends with Charlie Adamonis and his wife Peggy for decades. But what started as a joke at the bar one night turned into Charlie saving Denise’s life.
“When he found out that she needed it, he jumped,” Dennis said. “He jumped, and that … it’s crazy.”
Denise was born with a kidney disease that has progressively worsened.
“I’m at that point where if I don’t do this now, I’ll have to go on dialysis, and eventually that doesn’t work anymore,” Denise said. “Perfect timing as far as a living donor. Otherwise, it’s a five to seven year wait.”
Denise didn’t have many options in the family, and her daughter also has the disease.
“One of my older brothers gave my dad a kidney because he had it. And one of my other brothers only has one kidney, so we’re all kind of stuck with nobody else,” she said.
But that was until Charlie.
“I meant it from the bottom of my heart, but I didn’t think I’d be a match,” Charlie recalled.
With a family history of diabetes, Charlie not only went through months of testing, but he lost 40 pounds to be at his healthiest for the surgery.
On May 10, spirits were high as Charlie posted a video of him and Denise getting ready for surgery at Rhode Island Hospital. Dennis said the surgery itself was a success, but both Denise and Charlie weren’t doing as well as they had hoped.
Denise had complications to her heart as her body adjusted to a new organ and pain medicine but was able to go home on Saturday.
Charlie is also in a lot of pain but is able to return home on Thursday. He is out of work recovering for 12 weeks and won’t be getting an income during that time, so a GoFundMe page has been set up.