Beloved Bridgeport man with kidney disease dies from respiratory infection
A Bridgeport man who spent more than a decade dealing with a kidney disease died Sunday night.
The family of 61-year-old Gilbert Villanueva has been living life on an emotional rollercoaster.
News 12 Connecticut connected them with the New Canaan-based nonprofit Transplant Journey Inc., which helped them get Villanueva a kidney transplant at the University of Toledo Medical Center in March.
Villanueva and his wife, Edna Villanueva, headed to Ohio for the transplant after a News 12 viewer donated the money for travel and hotel expenses.
However, Edna Villanueva says her beloved husband died Sunday in the hospital. She says there wasn’t any issue with his kidney transplant, but he had contracted a type of respiratory infection.
The couple, who knew each other since they were kids, had what they called a storybook romance.
"Gilbert's legacy is to be with family members, children, grandchildren, cooking, listening to music, just being a happy old guy,” Edna Villanueva says.
The family says donations can be made directly to Luz De Paz Funeral Home in Bridgeport, where services will take place Thursday at 11 a.m.