Life has come full circle for East Boston’s John Nucci and Kerri Abrams, who owns Kinship Florist in Revere.
Thirty-five years ago Abrams’ parents, Kim and Al, were political supporters and friends of Nucci’s. At the time neither Nucci nor the Abrams could have ever guessed nearly four decades later that Kim and Al’s daughter would donate her kidney to help save Nucci’s life.
Nucci announced Sunday to the East Boston Times that Abrams was a kidney donor match. Nucci, 66, suffers from Polycystic Kidney Disease, the same kidney disease that killed his dad at the age of 64. He and Abrams underwent the lifesaving kidney transplant surgery Tuesday.
“My kidneys went from 12 percent down to 2 percent since February,” said an emotional Nucci on the eve of his surgery Monday evening. “Kerri is just an amazing and brave woman. To read about my story, step up and undergo all the testing and agreeing to go through with donating her kidney to me after she found out she was a match is something that is so moving to me and my family.”
In fact, when Nucci first met Abrams’ parents decades ago he was well aware that some day he would need a kidney transplant to save his life.
“Everything was finalized about a month ago,” said Nucci. “Testing continued right up until last week. We are both in good shape, we are both healthy but I still ask for everyone’s prayers.”
Nucci, Suffolk University’s Vice President of Governmental Affairs that also sits on the Massport board of directors, joked that if it wasn’t for a delayed flight at Logan Airport, Abrams may have never come forward.
“The funny thing is, as a Massport board member, I’m suppose to help solve delays at Logan,” Nucci laughed. “But there Kerri was stuck at Logan because of a delay and reading my story in the newspaper. It was then she decided to sign up and begin testing.”
It was the outpouring of support and getting Nucci’s story out there by friends and family that he says really made the difference.
“The emotion I feel is gratitude,” said Nucci. “Gratitude for Kerri. Gratitude for all my friends and supporters because without those prayers and helping to get the message out there none of this would have been possible. I feel like I’m the luckiest guy on earth to have this second chance at life. The one thing that this entire ordeal has taught me is that I have the greatest friends and family in the world.”
Nucci’s wife, Peggy, and his sons, John, Michael and Daniel, and dozens of friends and supporters spent the past several months running a campaign in the newspapers and on social media to keep their husband, father and friend’s story fresh in everyone’s mind.
“There are no words for us to thank all of you for what you’ve done for John with all your kind thoughts and prayers,” said Peggy Nucci. “And, what more can be said about Kerri…She is saving his life and truly is an angel. I just ask for everyone to keep those prayers coming and a heartfelt thank you from the entire Nucci family.”