As divorce squabbles go, Dr Richar Batista's demand makes a strange reading. He wants his wife to 'return' the kidney he had donated to save her life!
Of course kidney is not going to be taken out. He is only making a point of his own concern and generosity. He only wants his now estranged wife to pay him $1.5million in compensation.
AdvertisementDr Richard Batista - a prominent Long Island vascular surgeon, Cornell graduate, and father of three - gave his wife his kidney when she suffered renal failure in 2001 in a desperate bid to save her life - and, perhaps their marriage too.
But, though Dawnell Batista lived, the marriage gamble failed.
Now she has filed for divorce and he has accused her of having an affair.
'There is no deeper pain you can ever express than betrayal from someone who you loved and devoted your whole life to,' Dr Batista, 49, told local media.
The pair met two decades ago while he was a resident and she a training nurse.
They fell in love and married in 1990 - but the marriage slowly began to fall apart.
But in 2001, when Mrs Batista, a nurse, had gone into renal failure, her husband did not think twice.
'She was my wife. My priority was to save her life, save her life and future of our children and hopefully with that in mind keep the marriage alive,' he said.
'When I donated ... the next day on my feet going down hallway to visit her in adjoining room, there was no greater feeling on this planet,' he told CBS.
'As God is my witness, I felt I could put my arm around Jesus Christ. [It was] unbelievable. I was walking on a cloud. I did the right thing for her to this day. I could still do it again.'
Then, Mrs Batista filed for divorce in 2005. Now Dr Batista is accusing her of having an affair and throwing him out of their million-dollar Massapequa home.
He claimed he was suing for the kidney because his wife is now denying him contact with their three children, ages 8, 11 and 14.
'I saved her life,' he told reporters. 'This divorce is killing me.'
So far Mrs Batista has not publicly commented.
Doctors told CBS that an operation to return the kidney was not only unethical but nearly impossible.
Georgetown University's Kennedy Institute of Ethics reports it is illegal for an organ to be exchanged for anything of value. Organs in the United States may not be bought or sold, and donating one is considered a gift.
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