Bittersweet Gift: Sister's Death Saves New York Man's Life

A Queens man received the gift of life from his beloved sister, who saved him twice — once by getting him on dialysis, and again by giving him her kidneys after her tragic, sudden death.

The heartbreaking and inspiring story began in November, when deliveryman Seung Hoon Lee, 38, of Flushing, experienced kidney failure. He refused dialysis and did not want to wait up to seven years for a donor kidney.

But his older sister, Sunyun Lee, 46, a mother of two, also from Flushing, convinced her brother to undergo the difficult but vital treatments in order to keep him alive until a transplant donor could be found — not knowing she would be that donor.

Doctors said she was not a candidate for a live kidney donation to her brother because she suffered from high blood pressure. Also, it was unlikely they would be a tissue match because they were not twins.

A tearful Lee yesterday said his sister "was like a mother" to him, pushing him to get dialysis and coming with him to every appointment at North Shore Hospital in Manhasset, LI. "My sister was always with me when I visited the doctor," he said. "She took care of me always."