New Bedford City Councilor Hugh Dunn Offers Kidney to Chris McCarthy
New Bedford Ward 3 City Councilor Hugh Dunn has stepped up and offered a kidney to WBSM’s Chris McCarthy, after the talk show host began suffering from kidney failure following his horrific battle overcoming COVID-19 earlier this year.
McCarthy revealed the news in an appearance on The Barry Richard Show, in which he was scheduled to come on to talk about local politics and other issues but began the appearance with an update on his condition. He was calling in from the rehab center at Charlton Memorial Hospital, but said he should be coming home in the next week or two before he dropped the big reveal.
“I’m continuing dialysis, but lined up I have a very positive lead on a kidney donor,” he said. “We have to wait for all the tests to come in, to see if they are a good match, but it’s the second person to come forward to volunteer to be my donor, so really, things are working out wonderful.”
Richard asked McCarthy if he knows who the potential donor is.
“I do now. Want me to tell you?” McCarthy asked.
“I don’t want to violate your privacy,” Richard responded.
“I’m going to violate theirs,” McCarthy said. “It’s someone that you know pretty well: City Councilor Hugh Dunn.”
How Chris McCarthy Found Out Hugh Dunn Was Offering Him a Kidney
“He called me the other night, he asked me how it was going, did I have a donor yet, and I told him I didn’t,” McCarthy said. “He said, ‘You’re my friend and I want you to live, so I’ll do it.’”
McCarthy said Dunn’s mother is a doctor, so he’s been “fully briefed on what will be asked of him.”
“He knows what his life will be like afterward because it will diminish,” he said. “Let’s face it, your life is going to diminish when you give away a vital organ. So that’s where we are at with the beginning stages of this process, and I couldn’t ask for a better friend.”
Chris McCarthy's Kidney Failure Likely Due to His Near-Death Battle With COVID-19
In March of this year, McCarthy was diagnosed with COVID-19 after he originally thought he just had a bad cold, but his health declined rapidly.
While at St. Luke’s Hospital, he said had to be covered in a cooling blanket, as his body temperature became so high the doctors worried he was going to "cook" his organs, as he put it. He also described the harrowing ordeal of having warm, dry air forced into his lungs because his oxygen levels were so low, and having to be restrained to keep him from tearing out his tubes.
He also suffered multiple strokes and a heart attack during the fight against the virus.
Why Hugh Dunn Is a Good Match to Donate a Kidney to Chris McCarthy
“He’s younger than me, but we come from a similar genetic background. He’s an Irishman, I’m an Irishman,” McCarthy said. “What they want you to do is get a family member – but if I’m going to Vietnam, my family is going to Canada on this one. I was out there on my own, but he told me ‘you’re my friend and I want you to live.’ Kinder words could not have been spoken. That’s a real man.”
McCarthy mentioned that a friend from high school had also offered to be a donor “but he’s not as close to me genetically,” McCarthy said.
A Sacrifice That Goes Beyond Friendship
McCarthy said he and Dunn have been close friends, but that you never expect someone make such a sacrifice for you.
“It’s incredible because he is going to go from the quality of life that he has now to a diminished quality of life, because he’s going to allow my life to continue,” he said. “To have someone come out of the dark to rescue you – because that’s what he’s doing. He’s going to put his life on the line for me.”
“How do you ever repay that? You can’t,” McCarthy said. “It’s a favor that can never be repaid.”
When reached, Dunn opted not to comment at this time.
Listen to Chris McCarthy Share the Story of Hugh Dunn Offering Him a Kidney
How You Can Still Help Chris McCarthy
A GoFundMe has been set up to collect donations to help McCarthy with expenses from spending the better part of the year in the hospital and other medical facilities.