My jaw hit the table when my friend and colleague Chris McCarthy dropped the news on Friday's program that New Bedford Ward 3 City Councilor Hugh Dunn had offered him one of his kidneys. After an excruciating battle with COVID-19 and one medical crisis after another since March, McCarthy needs a kidney or he is going to die a very young man.

The thought that someone would volunteer to have an essential organ removed from his body to sustain another life is just about as noble and selfless as any act there is, short of falling on a live grenade to save the rest of the outfit. It requires a great deal of courage, confidence, and respect for human life. Could you do it?

I like to think that I might have the sort of courage to offer a part of me to save someone else, yet I didn't step forward to help Chris. Nor did any of my colleagues or anyone in Chris's family. The thought never occurred to me, and why would it? There is always that faceless, nameless donor prepared to make the sacrifice that few of us can imagine making. Besides, I might need that spare kidney someday.

Hugh Dunn stepped forward. Why? From everything I know about the situation, Hugh and Chris are friends. But the level of friendship that allows you to donate an organ to keep your friend alive? That's a special and unique kind of friendship that I didn't know was there. Perhaps it wasn't until now.

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Ever since Hugh Dunn stepped forward, there has been no shortage of speculation about his motivation. Some would consider Dunn a saint while others an opportunist. More than a few have decided that Dunn is simply looking for votes. That level of cynicism is alarming. Who would donate an organ to win a seat on the New Bedford City Council? But is he a candidate for canonization?

I don't believe Dunn is an opportunist, but he is no saint, either. As many of you know, I have been particularly critical of Dunn and his behavior since his alleged drunk driving accident in May. None of that has changed. There is obviously more to the man than his public persona, which is usually the case.

I don't know why Dunn offered to help my friend Chris, and it is none of my business. I'm just glad that someone did. Who am I to sit in judgment or to speculate about the motivations behind such a selfless act? I just hope this all turns out exactly as Chris McCarthy and Hugh Dunn want it to turn out.

It's all in God's hands now.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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