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Beloved Wilton High School counselor to receive kidney donation from father in the community

A beloved Wilton High School counselor has finally found a kidney donation from a Wilton father thanks to a video campaign his students created.

News 12 Staff

Mar 31, 2021, 9:31 PM

Updated 1,138 days ago

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A beloved Wilton High School counselor has finally found a kidney donation from a Wilton father thanks to a video campaign his students created.
The video from students Eli Ackerman, Jake Arnowitz and Tyler Casey to help Daniel Pompa find a donor quickly made the rounds in late December.
"The views just kept piling and piling up," says Casey.
A few days in, the campaign for Pompa landed in front of Wilton father David Cote.
"I knew of Mr. Pompa, I'd met him a couple of times; parked our Jeeps next to each other in the parking lot here and had heard nothing but wonderful things about him," says Cote.
Even without a personal relationship, Cote didn't hesitate to contact the transplant team at Yale New Haven Hospital. After weeks of screenings and tests, Cote found out he was a match.
"There really wasn't a thought process. It was, he needs a kidney, I've got two, he only needs one," says Cote.
MORE: Wilton teacher gets new kidney after students help find a match
Cote decided the kids should be the ones to share the news with Pompa since they made the video.
"When we were able to tell him, we set up a trivia game. A little 20-questions game where Mr. Pompa guessed who the donor was and, finally, we revealed the donor over Zoom," says Ackerman.
Pompa developed kidney problems after an infection from surgery in 1995.
"I can't believe that after a 20-year journey dealing with my kidneys that it may actually come to an end," says Pompa.
Over time, Pompa's kidneys worsened. In 2019, doctors told him a transplant was the only option.
"They had told me when I was put on the list that it could take up to six years. They told me I wouldn't make six years so the fact that the video gave me this time, that's just amazing," he says.
Transplant surgery is set for April 20. Pompa says he's looking forward to riding a bike again, which he hasn't done in years.
Cote is also a cyclist and says he plans on biking with Pompa once doctors give the OK.


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