CORONAVIRUS

Resources

Englewood man who has saved lives now needs his own lifesaver

One hero needs a hero of his own to help save his life. Sandy has been honored not once, but twice for saving the lives of others. Now, he’s in need of a kidney and hopes someone can extend the same grace to him that he did to others.

Sandy Bilsky is a hero to his wife, kids and four grandkids. He’s also a hero to the community.

Bilsky has been recognized by the Coast Guard for saving swimmers in the Gulf twice. “It is nice to think that if I saved someone’s life, maybe someone else will come along and save my life,” Bilsky said.

“This is where I spend almost half of my life, tethered to this machine,” he said. So now, this hero needs a hero of his own.

Doctors diagnosed Sandy with kidney failure in 2020. Since then, he’s spent about 15 hours a week on dialysis.

“Without this, the toxins in my body would kill me within a matter of weeks,” Bilsky said.

He needs a kidney transplant. But, finding a match won’t be easy. The donor must have matching blood and tissue.

It could take more than five years to find a  match via a national registry. Sandy fears that he doesn’t have that much time.

Bilsky really wants this new kidney because it would give him “freedom.” “It gives me an opportunity to get back to, I feel like, a normal life,” he said.

Sandy decided to take matters into his own hands by searching for help online and on the road. Bilsky has a bumper sticker on his car that with his phone number and it says “I need a kidney.”

“Doing this on my car was very difficult because it just exposes me to the world,” said Bilsky.

That exposure comes with an appreciation he could never repay.

“You can just give them your greatest heartfelt gratitude and they become part of you and you become part of them,” he said.

The man who risked his life twice is now asking for the gift of life from others.

Sandy’s donor needs to have O negative or positive blood and match tissue.

If you fit the description, you can contact Sandy directly via Facebook or by calling him at 401-741-4927.

Reporter:Erika Jackson
Writer:Drew Hill
Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know.
SHARE