Written by Cory Twibell: firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 27 April 2012 00:00
In a developing story that’s garnered national headlines, Hicksville resident Debbie Stevens claims that she was fired after taking additional time off from work to recover from donating a kidney – one that was intended to help her sick boss.
“My boss was needing a kidney and I immediately told her that she could have one of mine just because it’s part of who I am,” Stevens said at a recent press conference held at the office of her attorney, Lenard Leeds.
Stevens, a 47-year-old divorced mother of two, said she offered to donate a kidney to her boss, Jackie Brucia, 61, in September 2010. In August 2011, Stevens underwent surgery and though her kidney wasn’t a match for her boss, the surgery would help Brucia get her name higher on a transplant list.
Upon returning to work, Stevens said she was berated and harassed. Stevens also claimed that she was pressured to return to work though she still needed additional days off to recover.
“I was told not to get up from my desk, not to talk to people. It became very difficult just to do my job,” Stevens said.
Stevens’ lawyer is reportedly planning on filing a discrimination claim with the State Human Rights Commission against her former employer, Atlantic Automotive Group.
Atlantic Auto responded with a statement regarding what the company calls Stevens’ “groundless” claims.
“It is unfortunate that one employee has used her own generous act to make up a groundless claim. Atlantic Auto treated her appropriately and acted honorably and fairly, at every turn. We expect to have this resolved favorably in the legal system if any claim is filed,” the statement read.
Though the idea of being used for her organ is upsetting, Stevens thinks that may be the case.
“The thought of that being what really happened sickens me. It’s a very surreal thought, but I can’t help but feel that way. Now that I’ve put it on paper and read my own timeline, it appears that way. It appears that I was used,” Stevens said, adding that if she could go back in time, “No, I wouldn’t give it to her again.”
In next week’s Hicksville Illustrated News we will have an updated, exclusive interview with Debbie Stevens.