Heroic kidney donation by Largo sister saves retired officer’s life

LARGO, Florida (BLOOM) — This April, during Donate Life Month, the remarkable story of retired police officer Mark Loffredo and his sister, Jennifer Aulenti, is putting a personal face on the power of organ donation. Mark, a former officer who was disabled in the line of duty, received a life-saving kidney transplant from Jennifer last October at HCA Florida Largo Hospital.

Despite being accustomed to a life of managing pain and health complications due to nerve damage from his injury, Mark’s routine bloodwork in August 2022 revealed a critical situation: his kidney function was down to just 6%. This alarming discovery led him from a simple doctor’s visit directly to the emergency room, setting off a whirlwind of treatments, from daily dialysis to chemotherapy, as doctors worked to stabilize his condition.

As Mark’s need for a kidney transplant became urgent, Jennifer didn’t hesitate. “There wasn’t a question in my mind about donating. I would do anything for my brother,” she said. The transplant process was complicated by concerns about the hereditary nature of Mark’s condition, Immunoglobulin A (IgA) neuropathy. However, after thorough testing, it was confirmed that Jennifer could safely donate.

The successful transplant on October 26, 2023, transformed Mark’s health dramatically. “How’s my sister doing?” were his first words post-surgery, a testament to the deep bond between the siblings. The care team’s positive report motivated Mark to visit Jennifer during his recovery, showcasing their strong familial ties.

Today, both siblings are doing well, and their story underscores the critical impact of organ donation. One donor can save up to eight lives, and HCA Florida Largo Hospital encourages everyone to consider registering as an organ donor, regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, or medical condition.

As part of the statewide HCA Florida Healthcare network, HCA Florida Largo Hospital offers a wide range of specialized medical services and is a key player in advancing medical education and community health initiatives across Florida. For more information about organ donation and to register, visit DonateLife.net.

This Donate Life Month, Mark and Jennifer’s story is a heartening reminder of the incredible gifts that come from choosing to donate life.

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