Health & Wellness

Emotional Meeting at NJ Sharing Network Bonds Donor Family and Organ Recipient

5a7b4cf99a546bfc3e5a_IMG_0635.JPG
The recipient and donor families have a lasting bond after meeting. Credits: NJ Sharing Network
1501ea6ddb1ecd140a12_IMG_3742.JPG
Organ donor and recipient families form bond after meeting. Robert Fisher received the heart and kidney from Nolman Rodriguez in 2016, Credits: Bobbie Peer
6dc6b8a307dade19b506_IMG_0607.JPG
Family hears heartbeat of their brother inside recipient at a reunion meeting on Saturday at NJ Sharing Network. Credits: NJ Sharing Network
15e6d619aebe066d0b22_IMG_0627.JPG
Family hears heartbeat of their brother inside recipient at a reunion meeting on Saturday at NJ Sharing Network. Credits: NJ Sharing Network
528dd22cccf886eeeffb_IMG_3739.JPG
Immediate bond between donor family after meeting recipient of brother's heart. Credits: Bobbie Peer
d3be3f9f571e9de9d0f8_IMG_3635.JPG
Sister of organ donor anticipates the meeting of the recipient. Credits: Bobbie Peer
e097f648cb8582ae7651_IMG_3636.JPG
Credits: Bobbie Peer
500403bf6a876a45b977_IMG_3638.JPG
Credits: Bobbie Peer
f3af6f6a61e0787b4a38_IMG_3643.JPG
Credits: Bobbie Peer
7d906059b00bc26d2b01_IMG_3647.JPG
751124b5902be197ecdd_IMG_0552.JPG
Credits: NJ Sharing Network
5789539426cc05aece2a_IMG_3660.JPG
Credits: Bobbie Peer
d73566d336dc86aaa3c1_IMG_3661.JPG
Robert Fisher's family. Credits: Bobbie Peer
9550794f549f8d3298f9_IMG_3779.JPG
The families wrote on a stone to place in the garden at NJ Sharing Network in memory of Nolman. Credits: Bobbie Peer
6839289dc2e55ee79cdd_IMG_3673.JPG
Robert Fisher gave Rocelia a teddy bear to give to her mother in Honduras so she can hear her son's heartbeat every day. Credits: Bobbie Peer
c7036388729ee7cd2da4_IMG_3675.JPG
Credits: Bobbie Peer
e6e946f00a1cd81148cf_IMG_0569.JPG
Credits: NJ Sharing Network
639b7783284b62c7f8d0_IMG_3679.JPG
96151c6ea6dfb50a5f53_IMG_3682.JPG
d1c5506cf13fe235f958_IMG_3692.JPG
344f2475cbcfdc81a3b1_IMG_3714.JPG
0cd82eca1eefba3c7f20_IMG_3728.JPG
3df6cc742343bdec9d65_IMG_3745.JPG
46c7481028ff10771b68_IMG_3750.JPG
90a1058712761d69460a_IMG_3751.JPG
430e67f2ef083be57cc6_IMG_3754.JPG
fc411b811b21274fc97f_IMG_3759.JPG
0914f040dabd6b25429e_IMG_3767.JPG
bd311fb3cf6c16ca882d_IMG_3770.JPG
f61a5188d70601074f67_IMG_3782.JPG
Nolman's nephew wrote a message on a stone to place in the garden at NJ Sharing Network. Credits: Bobbie Peer
a1ce965b07a8485120c1_IMG_3786.JPG
The family was able to share photos and past memories of Nolman. Credits: Bobbie Peer
d35860424916421b0f03_IMG_0588.JPG
Credits: NJ Sharing Network
2c6f03bb7746ce6ca381_IMG_0601.JPG
Credits: NJ Sharing Network
5a7b4cf99a546bfc3e5a_IMG_0635.JPG

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Saturday's reunion wasn't an ordinary meeting -- it was an incredibly powerful reunion between a donor family and an organ recipient at the NJ Sharing Network in New Providence. You could feel the raw emotion of the Rodriguez family as they anxiously waited to meet Robert Fisher, who lives because of their brother's gift of life.

Nolman Vidal Rodriguez, of Trenton, died tragically in 2016 at the age of 24 and his family made the decision to give the gift of life by donating his organs. He donated both kidneys, pancreas, liver, both lungs, heart and corneas. Fisher, of Ocean Gate, NJ, was the recipient of Nolman's heart and one kidney. 

When Fisher and his family walked through the door, he immediately embraced Nolman's sister Rocelia, who sobbed in his arms. He assured her that her brother was with them.  "He's here, he's here," he said, while hugging members of the Rodriguez family. He was able to tell them how sorry he was for their loss and thanked them for the gift of life. And they were able to feel the beat of their brother's heart that lives on in Fisher.

Sign Up for E-News

Fisher waited a year and a half for a heart transplant and it was a really rough time for him after Superstorm Sandy, he said. "When they told me they had a heart and kidney for me, I was really surprised." -- "I had the transplant -- when I woke up, I felt the difference of Nolman inside me." -- "The minute I woke up, I felt him inside me and I feel like I know him."

Through a translator, Rocelia said, "God knows why he does things. You may question why things happen, but he put us in this situation so you can have your heart as a gift," she said.

Due to strict anonymity rules that govern organ donation, direct communication is not allowed. Rocelia waited a year and wrote a letter to Fisher asking to meet. In this case, the letter of introduction went through the NJ Sharing Network to protect the confidentiality of both the donor and recipient. After the initial contact, the donor and recipient families may decide to contact each other directly. 

"It was the best day that I had in a long time," said Fisher of receiving Rocelia's letter. For Fisher, this reunion means so much to him because he can finally meet the family and say thank you.  "He saved my life twice -- he is a hero," he said. 

Nolman's brother and sister were able to feel their brother's heart beating inside Fisher. Nolman's mother, who lives in Honduras, was unable to attend this reunion, but sent a message for Fisher. "Even though she doesn't know you, she loves you because her son is in you," said Rocelia. Fisher said that he feels the same way. "Tell her that I felt that way the day I got the heart. The minute I woke up, I felt him inside me and I feel like I know him." 

Fisher knew that Nolman's mother would find comfort in hearing her son's heartbeat and handed Rocelia a gift. "I know that you wanted your mom to be able to hear his heartbeat everyday," said Fisher. "So, I brought her something so she can." The gift was a teddy bear with angel wings. When you squeeze the bear's paw,  you can hear the sound of Nolman's heartbeat.   

Fisher told the family, "Just remember he is always here. Just because he isn't sitting here, doesn't mean he isn't here. He is right here and he will always be here for you anytime."

He then asked the family if they could tell him a little bit about Nolman. He already knew he was athletic and strong due to the strength of his new heart. The family then showed him pictures of Nolman and told his story through the translator.

"He was very courageous," she said. "He came to this country as a young man -- he came here for the love of his family." She explained that Nolman came to the United States from Honduras because their father was sick and needed surgery back in Honduras. "He didn't care that sometimes he couldn't afford to eat. He always wanted to make sure his family was taken care of." He was an accountant in Honduras and he wanted to obtain the credentials to pursue that profession in the United States.

Rocelia said that she came to the United States because of her brother. He helped her to come here with her kids. He was always their hero and he continues to be that hero. "Despite the tragedy of how he died and he is not here to be with us, he is still alive in you," she said.

Fisher is forever grateful to Nolman's family. "He gave me the greatest gift that we can ever have," said Fisher. "There is no thank you in the world that I can tell you and there is not a day that goes by that I don't think of him. Like I've known him forever. I will take good care of him. You did not lose a brother, you gained a brother too."

The Rodriguez family also feels like they gained a brother. The translator spoke for Nolman's brother, "They lost their brother and it has been hard -- knowing that he is able to live and give someone else life is what has helped him."

Fisher told the Rodriguez family, "You are now part of my family. You will always be part of my family. We are always one. It will always be that way. He [Nolman] takes good care of me and I will take care of him."

"It's amazing how strong I feel him everyday. He is there. It is like he talks to me everyday. That is why I couldn't wait to meet you because it's like I knew you already," he said.

He told the Rodriguez family that without Nolman's heart, he wouldn't have been able to walk his daughter down the aisle this past November. And with that, Rosalie smiled and said that she too got married in September.

He asked the family if they wanted to hear his heart.

They continued their reunion and placed stones in memory of Nolman in the NJ Sharing Network's Landscape of Life Meditation Garden, a special place for those whose lives have been touched by organ and tissue donation and transplantation.

______________________________________________

NJ Sharing Network's goal is to educate New Jersey residents about the life-saving benefits of organ and tissue donation and transplantation, so they can discuss donation with their families and make the personal decision to register as a donor. To learn more about NJ Sharing Network visit their website www.njsharingnetwork.org.

TAPintoNutley.net is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is the only locally owned news organization serving the community. Sign up for our FREE daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @TAPintoNutley 

Download the TAPinto App!   Click here for Android.  Click here for iOS.

Got a news tip? email us at Nutley@TAPinto.net

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Nutley

NJ Governor Signs Executive Order to Fly Flags at Half-Staff to Recognize Parkland Florida Victims

February 19, 2018

New Jersey Governor Phillip D. Murphy signed Executive Order No.1 on Monday ordering the flag of the United States of America and the Flag of the State of New Jersey to be flown at half-staff to recognize and mourn the passing of the victims in Parkland, Florida. 

The order is for all state offices, agencies and instrumentalities including schools for Tuesday February 20.

Relay For Life Hosts IWF Wrestling Fundraiser April 14 at Nutley Parks and Rec

Get ready for adrenaline-charged excitement as Independent Wrestling Federation presents a family-friendly Live Event on Saturday, April 14, 7:30 pm to benefit American Cancer Society's Relay For Life at Rec Center, 44 Park Avenue, Nutley.

Headlining IWF’s action-packed 21st Annual LOUD & PROUD extravaganza are Nutley's own Master of Chaos Kevin Knight, plus IWF ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, February 22, 6:00 PM

Montclair Public Library, Montclair

Alice Hooe Foster: Shaping Montclair

Arts & Entertainment Education Other

Carousel_image_88bbd78485e3963d4faa_mountainside_logo_meridian

Mon, February 26, 7:00 PM

Hospital Auditorium, Glen Ridge

Tour of the Birthing Center

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_c0ec2f2fca742d327270_mountainside_bariatrics

Tue, February 27, 7:00 PM

Clifton Library, Allwood Branch, Clifton

Bariatric Seminar-Weight Loss That Works

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_10dac65fb59c2bfc34d4_mountainside_logo_lockup

Wed, February 28, 7:00 PM

Hospital Conference Room 2 (Ground Floor), Glen Ridge

Becoming a Parent

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_cdfb236ab07208a5d19a_mountainside_bariatrics

Wed, February 28, 7:00 PM

Mountainside Medical Center, Glen Ridge

Bariatric Seminar-Weight Loss That Works

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_52d065817a5fb830fad9_essex_county_parks_logo

Wed, February 28, 7:30 PM

Cedar Grove Public Library , Cedar Grove

Progressive Parks for a Progressive Era:  The ...

Arts & Entertainment Green Home & Garden

Mr. Joseph Dwyer Named Coordinator of Integrated Instructional Technology for the Nutley Public Schools

February 7, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ  – Mr. Joseph Dwyer was approved as the Coordinator of Integrated Instructional Technology, PK-12, for the Nutley Public Schools at the Board of Education meeting on January 29, 2018. He began his role on February 1, 2018.

In his new role, Dwyer will be responsible for ensuring that technology is used to support teaching and learning in grades PK-12, in all aspects of ...

Nutley Kindergarten Registration for 2018-2019 School Year

The Nutley Public School District offers a free, full-day kindergarten program for residents of Nutley. Children must be five years of age by October 1 of that school year. Kindergarten registration for September 2018 begins March 5, 2018.

Registration will be held on Monday, March 5, 2018 through Friday, March 9, 2018 from 4:00 – 7:30 p.m. daily in the Nutley High School Cafeteria.

On3

Preliminary Accreditation given to Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at On3

February 15, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine received preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). Accreditation is an essential requirement in the complex process of establishing a new medical school. 

Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine is creating a rigorous academic curriculum that combines ...

Prism Capital Partners, ON3 to Host Suburban Revitalization Forum on March 5, 8 in Nutley

NUTLEY, NJ - Prism Capital Partners and On3 will present a two-part Suburban Revitalization Forum on March 5 and 8 in the auditorium of Building 200 on the ON3 campus. Each forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. 

The two-part series will feature nationally recognized speakers who will examine trends in urban planning and future growth as New Jersey’s suburbs evolve. The event is ...

NBA Star Dennis Rodman Enjoys Life in Livingston

February 21, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Former National Basketball Association (NBA) star Dennis Rodman’s friends say he is “living like a Livingston kid” while he is in town doing an outpatient program for Turning Point Rehab Center.

Livingston native Chris “Vo” Volo, an agent for Prince Marketing Group, has been representing Rodman for seven years and the two quickly became ...

Five Injured When NJ Transit Bus and Garbage Truck Collide in Maplewood on Tuesday

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Five people were seriously injured when a NJ Transit bus and a garbage truck had a head-on collision around 12:45 p.m. on Tuesday, according to a press release from Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino of the Essex County Prosecutor's office.

The accident occurred near 1450 Springfield Ave., which is directly in front of the NJ Transit ...

Valeski: Placing Police Officers in East Brunswick Schools was Planned for Two Years

February 21, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - In the midst of a media firestorm today, Dr. Victor Valeski, East Brunswick Superintendent of Schools, fielded questions from local and national journalists regarding the placement of armed police officers inside each of the district's K-12 buildings.  The move seemed to many as a "knee-jerk" reaction to the fear generated by the massacre of ...

Shouts of Racial Slurs Bring Police to Sparta Theatre

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night because of a woman shouting slurs in a screening of Black Panther.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including “look at these ‘n-word’” and “can you believe these ...

Decades Rewind Returns to the Jersey Shore

February 18, 2018

Decades Rewind transports their audience to the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s!!

RED BANK, N.J.- Returning to the Count Basie Theatre, Friday, March 9th, 2018 Decades Rewind, the national touring concert, dance party and theatrical performance all wrapped up in one blockbuster, high energy show, celebrates the hits of the 60’s, 70’s and ...

Nutley Police Department Blotter February 10 - 16 2018

February 17, 2018

The Police Blotter is compiled each week by Det. Sgt. Anthony Montanari of the Crime Intelligence Public Information Division of the Nutley Police Department.

Please note:  All parties placed under arrest have been assigned a court date and remain innocent until proven guilty of those charges at their respective hearing

Anyone who has information about any crimes can send a (non ...

The Negative Effects Of Prolonged Sitting And Workplace Tips From Pro Staff Physical Therapy

In recent years, media outlets have described sitting as the new smoking. This may seem like a stretch, but once you break that statement down it carries some truth. Cigarettes were not thought to be the cause of lung cancer and other serious diseases until the 1950s. Like the cigarette industry in the 1920s, the effects of prolonged sitting throughout the workday has largely been ignored and ...

Fall Flag Football Registration Now Available

Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci and the Department of Parks and Recreation are currently accepting registrations for the Spring Season of Flag Football.  

Online registration is available at https://register.communitypass.net/nutley.  The league will begin play in mid-April. This program is open to boys and girls grades 1 through 4.  The fee for this program is $40.00 per child ...

AUDITION PACKETS NOW AVAILABLE FOR THE NUTLEY DEPARTMENT OF PARKS & RECREATION’S THEATRE PRODUCTION OF SHREK JR.

Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci announces that audition packets are now available for the 2018 Theatre Program selection “Shrek Jr”. 

Beauty is in the eye of the ogre in Shrek The Musical JR., based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film and fantastic Broadway musical.  It's a "big bright beautiful world" as everyone's favorite ogre, Shrek, ...

The Jaffe Briefing - February 21, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

ON THE HIGHWAY - Authorities were frantically looking into a "mystery tar" that appeared suddenly on cars driving along I-295 in South Jersey, causing tires to gel with the road. They quickly realized that a stretch of the highway in Salem County was smeared with liquid asphalt, leaked from a tanker and causing dozens of cars to get ...

Legalized Marijuana - To Every Benefit There Is A Cost

January 24, 2018

Soon NJ will grapple with the legalization of marijuana, as our newly elected Governor has vowed to make this an administrative priority as promised during his campaign.  It’s no secret that this is a controversial topic that stirs up passionate sometimes heated debate from all sides of the issue.  In an attempt to keep it in the realm of facts and data, I present the following ...

Letter to the Editor: Make the Road New Jersey Condemns End of Protected Status for 250,000 Salvadorans

Today the Trump administration announced the end of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Salvadorans. Effective Sept. 9, 2019, nearly 200,000 people who have been living and working legally in the U.S. for almost two decades, who have American families, homes and businesses, will be subject to deportation. 10,000 Salvadoran TPS holders currently reside in New Jersey.

Make the Road New ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...

Guest Column: The Great "Wait" of the College Process

"The Great Wait" of the College Application Process

For all the high school seniors and their parents, we are in the stressful "waiting period".  We've just finished or are finishing applications to all the schools we might possibly want to attend next year and now sit and wait our fate after the $60-$80 non-refundable application fees to at least 8-13 schools and ...

The 33% Approval Rating of this Administration Illustrates One Thing: The Electoral College Failed

The 33% Approval Rating of this Administration Illustrates One Thing: The Electoral College Failed

Jeff Sessions-  “Why would be bring somebody into the country who is illiterate in their own language?”  -To Tucker Carlson on FOX.

The most frustrating thing about the television is the one sided conversations that take place.  When the Attorney General, Jeffrey B.

Fish and Chips Dinner at Grace Church in Nutley

February 20, 2018

Please join us for the annual Argyle Fish and Chips dinner at Grace Episcopal Church, 200 Highfield Lane, Nutley, NJ, (973.235.1177) on Friday, March 9, 5pm until 8pm, continuous seating, Dine in or Carry out.  Adult $20, Child $10, kids under 3 eat free.  The dinner is a BYOB event.  Chicken available upon request.  Tickets at the door, Adult $25, Child $15.  ...

MEND Hunger Relief Network Sharpens its Focus on Healthy Food

EAST ORANGE, NJ - MEND, a non-profit working to alleviate hunger in Essex County, is accelerating its commitment to making fresh and healthy food available to its food pantry patrons, through the appointment of an Executive Director, enhanced programming, and a revitalized logo and website (www.mendnj.org).

Robin Peacock was named to the newly created Executive Director position, after working ...

Cuba Goes Country

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RELEASE: “Cuba Goes County” to be held at The Palmer in Cuba, NY.

For more information or to schedule and interview, contact Theater Manager Michele Conklin at (585) 209-5512.

The Palmer Opera House is hosting “Cuba Goes Country” on Sunday March 11th- at 2:00 PM

Come join us for a boot stompin', toe tappin' afternoon of country ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs (Bantom,2017)

How does a writer of a beloved series like Harry Potter or Temperance Brennan break out of their readers' expectations and try something new? For J.K. Rowlings it was the novels penned under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith; books about a maimed and very flawed private detective with the unlikely name of Cormoran Strike. For Kathy Reichs, it is the ...

Drama by Raina Telgemeir

Drama by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic, 2012) (target audience, Young Adults)

 

When my daughter, Shauna, was six years old, we took her to see her first Broadway production; a revival of The Wiz starring Stephanie Mills. I knew that it was the last time Mills could get away with playing Dorothy, and I impressed upon Shauna that seeing this show was a special moment in her life. As a ...

Obituaries

Oct 23, 1933 - Feb 10, 2018
Frances R. Gorzelnik, 84, passed away on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at home in ...
Read more
Jul 28, 1955 - Feb 8, 2018
Owner/Chef of Jaret’s Stuffed Cupcakes  Beloved Husband, Father, Brother and ...
Read more