How much do you like your boss? Enough to undergo major surgery? Debbie Stevens did. Described as a "kind and generous" woman, Stevens knew her boss, Jackie Brucia, was in need of a kidney transplant.
Now, according to a new lawsuit, Stevens donated her kidney, and then was fired from her job at a car dealership one month later.
“Because she was naturally a kind and generous person, Stevens told Brucia that, if necessary, she would be willing to donate a kidney,’’ the lawsuit says. “Brucia . . . told her, ‘You never know, I may have to take you up on that offer one day.'"
Brucia had confided in Stevens that she needed a kidney, but that she would find a donor on her own, perhaps a family member. As far as Stevens knew, a donor was lined up. Two months later, that story changed.
“[Brucia] called me into her office and said, ‘My donor was denied. Were you serious when you said that?’" recalls Stevens. "I said, ‘Sure, yeah.’ She was my boss, I respected her. It’s just who I am. I didn’t want her to die.’’
But Stevens wasn't a close match to Brucia, so she couldn't give the kidney. Instead of calling the whole thing off, doctors allowed Stevens to donate her kidney to someone else on the transplant list so that Brucia could move up and get an organ from someone else.
“I felt I was giving her life back,’’ Stevens said. “My kidney ended up going to St. Louis, Missouri, and hers came from San Francisco.”
Even after all of Stevens' selfless acts, Brucia still had the audacity to fire her. But why?