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UPDATE: Well known Fall River couple finds kidney for husband to save his life, Fernando gives surgery update



UPDATE: Fernando gave us an update on his kidney transplant surgery: “Transplant surgery went well on Valentine’s Day. Making good progress as is the donor. Here is a picture two days after surgery – Barbara Youmans, my donor angel, and I recovering at the Brigham.”

If you remember back in April, a well known Fall River couple was looking for the public’s help to find a kidney. We have good news to report!

Fernando Goulart’s accomplishments and contributions to the city are endless. He began his teaching career at the Frank M. Silvia School after attending Durfee, SMU (at the time), Rhode Island and Bridgewater State Colleges. He worked for the Massachusetts Migrant Program, taught Portuguese at Durfee, and ended his 34 years in education as CEO of Atlantis Charter School. He was a semi-professional soccer player and was an NEAA soccer referee. He is also a longtime member and scenic set painter for The Little Theatre of Fall River.

Despite that long list, he may be most known for portraying Santa across the city with his wife Maryann as Mrs. Claus. Described as a kind person and gentleman by many, most importantly his wife, Fernando needed the help of the community.

Fernando is battling kidney disease (focal segmental glomerulosclerosis). It has been his battle for over 20 years. A battle that he has begun to lose as it has hit stage 5. At this advanced stage of kidney disease, the kidneys are so damaged that they have lost nearly all of their ability to do their job effectively. A lifetime of dialysis or a kidney transplant is needed for him to live. Fernando and his wife would love for him to have a normal life once again.

The wait for a kidney from a deceased donor is typically between 5 and 7 years so the Goularts were hoping to find a living donor.

They got their wish.

Fernando contacted us today to let us know the good news. “I’m having kidney transplant surgery on Valentine’s Day. An angel, a living donor, someone I had never met before, decided to be tested, was a match, and is donating a kidney. As dark as the world seems to be at times, here shines a light of hope. I truly appreciate you taking the time to share my story.”

We are happy for the Goularts, but not everyone needing a kidney is as lucky. If you are interested in being evaluated to donate, contact Massachusetts General Hospital Kidney Transplantation Program 165 Cambridge Street, Suite 301 Boston, MA 02114, Phone: 877-644-2860.

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  1. Linda Mello class of 68

    January 18, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    Congratulations! All good thoughts for both of you!

  2. Rose Silva

    January 18, 2019 at 11:22 pm

    Mr Goulart was my Portuguese teacher in 1984 – 1985 . Mr. Goulart and I didn’t see eye to eye but I want to congratulate him on his donor transplant and wish him the best of luck and hope all goes well ??????!!!

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