White woman wants her kidney back after giving it to her white female boss
The generous mother who claims she was fired after donating her kidney to her ailing boss is now demanding the organ back.
‘You hate me so much, and I’m so despicable – give me my kidney back!’ Debbie Stevens, 47, said, the New York Post reported.
The mother of two from Long Island, New York, had offered her kidney to her boss Jackie Brucia, 61, after she said she was struggling to find a donor.
Stevens has now filed a legal complaint at the New York Human Rights Commission claiming that the woman groomed her for the organ and then fired her – but Brucia has thanked her for the gift.
‘I will always be grateful that she gave me a kidney,’ Brucia told 1010 WINS-AM radio. ‘I have nothing bad to say about her. I will always be grateful to her – she did a wonderful thing for me.’
For Stevens to get her kidney back, it would involve at least four surgeries.
She explained her decision: ‘I feel very betrayed. This has been a very hurtful and horrible experience for me. She just took this gift and put it on the ground and kicked it.’
Stevens and Brucia met while working at the billion-dollar Atlantic Automotive Group, which runs car dealerships in New York.
After two years working as a clerical worker, Stevens left the company in June 2010 and moved to Florida – but returned for a visit a few months later.
During a conversation with Brucia, the boss discussed her health problems and ‘her need for a kidney transplant’, the complaint papers claim.
Stevens said that Brucia had found a possible donor – but she offered her own ‘because she was naturally a kind and generous person’.
Brucia said: ‘You never know, I may have to take you up on that offer one day,’ the papers say, as reported in the Post.
When Stevens decided to return to Long Island soon after and asked Brucia for her job back, she agreed and was back within weeks.
Just two months later, Brucia approached her employee and said her donor had been denied and asked whether she would still be willing to donate her own kidney, Stevens said.
‘She was my boss, I respected her,’ Stevens told the Post. ‘It’s just who I am. I didn’t want her to die.’
According to the papers, Brucia had been ‘apparently grooming her to be her “backup plan”.’
Even though Stevens did not prove to be a perfect match for her boss, she donated her kidney to a transplant group so that Brucia could get her organ from someone else in the group.
In August 2011, she underwent the surgery which floored her, leaving her with pain in her legs and digestive problems, she said.
She added that she felt pressurised to go back to work and could not cope after three days, so returned home, much to the annoyance of her boss.
‘You can’t come and go as you please,’ her boss allegedly said. ‘People are going to think you’re getting special treatment.’
Brucia allegedly began yelling at Stevens for her mistakes, before she was demoted to a dealership 50 miles from her home.
Her lawyers wrote a letter to the company and Stevens was promptly fired, according to the papers.
Stevens said her health-insurance coverage will soon run out so she will be unable to pay future medical and psychiatric bills.
She said: ‘I can’t afford it; it’s a lot of money. I may have a hard time getting insurance because I donated a kidney. I thought I would be at that job until I retired.’
Stevens’ lawyer, Lenard Leeds, said he will file a discrimination suit against the company and would seek millions of dollars in compensation.
But her former employers labelled her claims ‘groundless’.
Lawyer Robert Milman said: ‘Atlantic Auto treated her appropriately and acted honorably and fairly at every turn. We expect to have this resolved favorably in the legal system.’