'He gave me my life back' - Kidney donation saves man from Farmingville
A Farmingville man whose story was shared on News 12 in September 2020 has received a new kidney from a fellow Long Islander.
Bobby Costa's daughter, Melanie Maiorca, had made a touching TikTok pleading for help that went viral. Terri Marino, of Bayport, says she was watching the news that day.
"It was my daughter-in-law's friends' dad. It moved me and I just thought somebody please get that man a kidney already," she says.
Since then, Costa and his family say it's been a rollercoaster of emotions.
"One of my childhood friends, Corey, put himself through all of the testing and he was a match," says Maiorca.
But then, another hurdle - they were told the surgery couldn't happen. Costa went back on the waiting list.
This November, Maiorca got a call from her best friend of 20 years, saying that her brother-in-law was on life support and the family wanted to give Costa his kidney.
"Their family knew our story and specifically asked Kate to make sure that this would go to my father because that would give them some sense of peace," says Maiorca.
The donor was 35-year-old Anthony Marino, Terri Marino's youngest son. The family says he took his own life last month.
"Anthony struggled with depression for 20 years and he fought," says Terri Marino.
When Terri Marino and her husband were asked about organ donation, she said it was a "no brainer" and remembered Costa.
"It was a ray of light for me. If I could turn his tragedy into something good for somebody else or give them life - it wasn't even a question," she says.
"In one of the most terrible situations of their lives, they thought of us. They thought of my kids. That's what they kept saying. They want my kids to have their pop-pop," says Maiorca.
Terri Marino is now an advocate for those suffering with depression.
"I know there's a big stigma on suicide but there shouldn't be. It is the same as if they had cancer or any other illness," she says.
As for her son, Terri Marino says he lives on and no one knows that better than Costa.
"He gave me my life back," says Costa.