Football

First, her Eagles beat his Patriots in the Super Bowl. Then, she 'took' his kidney

The New England Patriots, left, and Philadelphia Eagles met in Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4. An Eagles fan recently received a kidney donation from a Patriots fan.
The New England Patriots, left, and Philadelphia Eagles met in Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4. An Eagles fan recently received a kidney donation from a Patriots fan. The Associated Press

A Philadelphia Eagles fan got to see her team's first Super Bowl win in February.

A month later, she celebrated a much more important victory.

Patricia Pizzimenti – described as a lifelong Eagles fan by WTNH-TV in New Haven, Conn. – received a kidney from a man she'd never met. That man's name is John Houlihan – who happens to be a fan of the Patriots, the team the Eagles beat in Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4 in Minneapolis.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Patriots fan donates kidney to Eagles fan <a href="https://t.co/XyZmgwlXvs">https://t.co/XyZmgwlXvs</a> <a href="https://t.co/Gk3cMjeJnP">pic.twitter.com/Gk3cMjeJnP</a></p>&mdash; Zesty NFL Eagles (@zesty_eagles) <a href="https://twitter.com/zesty_eagles/status/992125932671520769?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Pizzimenti and Houlihan met in person for the first time Wednesday at Yale New Haven Hospital, the TV station reports. They both put on T-shirts to celebrate the occasion. His read "Can you believe I gave my kidney to an Eagles fan?" while hers had "Can you believe I took a kidney from a Patriots fan?" on it.

While grateful for Houlihan's donation, Pizzimenti still poked a little fun at him.

"Apparently my sense of humor was transferred," he said. "Patricia decided to remind me that the Patriots lost the Super Bowl, so this is something to remind me of that"

This exchange was necessary because Pizzimenti's daughter, who offered her kidney, wasn't a match. Instead, hers went to another man, while Pizzimenti received one from Houlihan.

So what's her outlook on the Patriots now?

"I'll take Gronk, I don't know about anybody else," a laughing Pizzimenti said, referring to Rob Gronkowski, New England's five-time All-Pro tight end.

This isn't the first time a person received an organ from a fan of a rival team.

Pete Cashman, a Chicago Bears season-ticket holder, received a liver from a Green Bay Packers fan.

"I know Bears fans that would probably say they’d give their organs to anybody but a Packers fan and I know Packers fans that would probably say the same thing about Bears fans," Cashman said on the Bears' website in May 2011. "But it doesn’t matter who donates to save your life. That’s the big story here."

Amy Larson was 32 when she died a day before Cashman's surgery in March 2011. He reached out to Larson's mother nearly a year later.

"I told her that I was a Bears season-ticket holder and that I went to the NFC championship game against the Packers (in January 2011),” Cashman said. "She laughed and said, 'At least a part of you went home happy.'"

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