Man Who Survived Both 9/11 Attack and 1993 Bombing Makes Heartfelt Plea to Find Kidney Donor Match

by Jennifer Shea

Francis “Frank” Savio worked at New York City’s World Trade Center for about 20 years before terrorists from al Qaeda crashed airplanes into the towers. In addition to surviving the 9/11 attacks, he also survived the 1993 bombing.

Savio was working as a frame technician for Verizon in the World Trade Center on 9/11. And on that fateful morning, he helped save a fellow New Yorker who was visually impaired by guiding them down the stairs to safety soon before the second plane hit the south tower.

Now Savio, a resident of Monmouth County, New Jersey, needs a kidney donor to save his life, Fox News reports. The father of two suffers from end-stage renal disease. In 2017, he was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. Since then, he’s gone through daily at-home dialysis. But his condition has slowly deteriorated.

9/11 Survivor Searches for Kidney Donor

Savio has been searching for a kidney donor for years with no positive matches. Savio’s wife Phyllis told Fox that they’ve tried everything they could think of. For instance, an employee at the school where she used to teach had T-shirts made up saying that Savio needed a kidney. They also went and stood outside the “Today” show studio holding signs, hoping the cameras would catch them. They posted fliers in storefronts. As if that weren’t enough, they then took to social media. They even advertised at their local gym.

“I’m probably more hopeful than Frank… He’s a pessimist,” Phyllis told Fox of her 9/11 survivor husband. “I’m always hoping for the best, that somebody is out there. There are some people out there that are very selfless and willing to do this. I would be eternally grateful.”

Savio has type O blood. Anyone interested in helping the 9/11 survivor can contact the Flood Sisters Kidney Foundation. An estimated 30 million people in the U.S. suffer from kidney disease, and since its founding in 2008, the foundation has successfully enabled 12 transplants, underscoring the difficulties kidney patients like Savio face.

The Savio’s Team Up with Flood Sisters

This summer, the Savio’s reached out to Flood Sisters for help. The foundation resorts to nontraditional methods to find a suitable donor for people in need. It also emphasizes the importance of finding a living donor over a cadaver, which reduces the risk of infection.

The foundation was founded by three sisters whose father needed a kidney transplant. They tried everything from Craigslist ads to radio announcements to find a donor, and they ultimately succeeded. Their dad underwent his transplant procedure in December of 2008.

Flood Sisters is now collaborating with the Savio’s and three other families who need a kidney. As the 20th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, Savio is in a race against time to find a life-saving donor. But the Flood Sisters are nothing if not determined, and Savio is not giving up.