Teaneck Man Critically Injured In Double-Pedestrian Crash Had Donated Kidney To Grandmother

One of two men critically injured when they were struck crossing the street outside a Teaneck synagogue Thursday night was to receive an award this weekend for donating a kidney that saved the life of a grandmother.

Micah Kaufman
Micah Kaufman Photo Credit: JewishLinkNJ

Micah Kaufman, 41, and Sheldon Mermelstein, 75, both members of congregation Beth Aron on Queen Anne Road, were coming from Congregation Bnai Yeshurun when they were struck by a sedan while crossing West Englewood Avenue around 6:20 p.m. Thursday, authorities said.

Mermelstein succumbed to his injuries on Saturday: (UPDATE) 

Kaufman, meanwhile, remained in a coma in the Intensive Care Unit at Hackensack University Medical Center on Friday, friends said. 

The 35-year-old Teaneck driver of the 2018 Hyundai Sonata remained at the scene and cooperated, Police Chief Glenn O’Reilly said Friday, adding that an investigation was continuing.

Kaufman was among several altruistic kidney donors due to be honored in town Saturday night at a “Celebration of Life” sponsored by Brooklyn-based Renewal, which arranges kidney donations within the Jewish community.

Earlier this year, he donated a kidney to an 85-year-old grandmother of two who’d been on dialysis for nearly two years as she waited for a kidney.

At her age, the possibility of a donation wasn’t considered likely.

But Kaufman, friends said, is a special person.

“It’s really a wonderful opportunity for those of us who are not in the medical field to save someone’s life,” Kaufman told JewishLinkNJ. “My father and sister are both medical doctors, and they’ve been saving lives for their whole careers.”

Kaufman’s grandfather, who died in 2010, was 82 when he survived quadruple bypass surgery, he noted.

“He was able to see two more grandchildren get married and was able to see multiple great-grandchildren born,” Kaufman told JewishLinkNJ. “How could I not give that opportunity to someone else? It wasn’t really a question in my mind.

“I didn’t do it to get the acclaim. I just did it because that’s the way my mind works.”

Now, loved ones, friends and even strangers are hoping that Kaufman’s life will be spared.

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