New York Man Demands $1.5M From Estranged Wife for Kidney

A New York doctor who gave his wife a kidney is suing her for $1.5 million — or the return of the vital organ — after he says she cheated on him with a physical therapist.

Richard Batista, 49, is demanding the sum in the middle of a messy divorce with his now-estranged wife, who suffered kidney ailments for years before the transplant.

The Long Island surgeon said he gave the gift of life to his wife in 2001, but things turned sour just two years later while she was recovering from a karate injury, the New York Post reported.

His wife, 44-year-old Dawnell Batista, had an affair with her physical therapist in 2003, he said. She recovered from the knee injury, but he says her low blow has him all out of joint.

"I saved her life and then to be betrayed like this is unfathomable. It's incomprehensible," he told the Post. "She engaged in an extramarital affair and refused to go to marital counseling and reconciliation."

Two years after the affair began she filed for divorce, and Batista accuses her of trying to limit his access to their three children, ages 8, 11 and 14.

"She slapped me with divorce papers in the operating room while I was trying to save another patient's life," he told the Post.

Divorce attorney Dominic Barbara said this case was a first, and that he arranged for a medical expert to determine his client's kidney's worth.

"This has never been done before in the state of New York," Barbara said.

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