Gift of life for new dad just in time for Father's Day - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Gift of life for new dad just in time for Father's Day

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NEW YORK -

Kevin Pugh is celebrating a special first Father's Day with his daughter, Delaney, and wife, Jami.

"You have this vision of what you want your life to be and what you expect it to be. You get married, you expect to have children," Kevin said.

The 35-year-old suffered from a life-threatening liver disease and needed a transplant. It was getting close to his wife's due date and he was worried he wouldn't be able to be in the delivery room to see his daughter arrive.

"Being a first time father I wanted to be there," he said.

Then the call they were waiting for finally came; a match was identified. The organ came from a mother in her 40s who passed away.

"I was thinking about that the whole morning and just praying for their family because they are going through the worst day of the lives and I'm getting prepared to hopefully save mine," Kevin said.

The transplant surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center was successful.

"He did very well, actually. He went home pretty quickly after transplant," said Dr. Leona Kim-Schluger of Mount Sinai Medical Center.

And just weeks later he was well enough welcome Delaney into the world.

"It was everything that he was there and right next to me and taking care of me," Jami said.

"It was very emotional like I think it is for a lot of first-time dads," Kevin said.

Delaney is now 8 weeks old. Kevin is grateful for this new chance at life.

"You just didn't know if you would make it to be a father," Kevin said. "So, it means a lot to be here and the reality that I have a daughter."

And now he gets to by her side every step of the way.

There are nearly 120,000 people on waiting lists for organs in the U.S.

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