'Miracles still do exist' – Bridgeport pastor receives kidney donation from longtime parishioner
A Bridgeport pastor is thankful for his parishioner for giving him the gift of life.
Eric Torres, a 42-year-old pastor at Greater Bridgeport Christian Fellowship Church, was on the brink of death after suffering end-stage renal failure 16 months ago.
His longtime friend and parishioner, Lisa Papageorge, 59, offered her own kidney to save his life.
"When she said she was going to do it one Sunday afternoon, and she was going to go through with the entire process and it took about 6 months -- I was just blown away,” said Torres.
Papageorge says she is glad she could help her friend in his time of need.
"I'm so happy and I'm happy that he's great. He goes on vacation and he's able to do all the things that he enjoys doing,” she said.
Torres is grateful for Papageorge’s generosity.
"It definitely restored my hope in humanity, my hope in that miracles still do exist, they are still available, and to remind yourself that if you do good unto others, and you sow good, good will come back in return," Torres said.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal recognized Papageorge and Torres this week, hoping their story will promote organ donation.
"It's a miracle medically but also in humanitarian terms -- and so inspiring,” he said.
Torres says there is a lesson to be learned from his extraordinary experience.
"Remind yourself daily that if you do good unto others and you sow good, good will come back in return,” he said.