A Bradenton firefighter has received the county’s highest honor for a firefighter after donating a kidney to a fellow firefighter’s wife.
As a firefighter and former Marine, Lieutenant Derek Foss is always ready to answer the call.
"Make a decision as it comes in," he explained.
He says he didn't need any convincing on the decision to donate a kidney after learning he was a perfect match to be a kidney donor to Brianne Baker.
"Probably two weeks after I gave blood and they called and said six out of six match," he said. Brianne Baker is a nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit at Tampa General Hospital and her health was declining.
"I had no energy, I didn’t realize how much I was declining over the months," she said.
As a teenager, Brianne Baker was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease. At 32, her kidneys were failing and a match needed to be a perfect fit. Brianne Baker carried a rare antigen in her blood, shrinking her chance of finding a kidney from 96% to 6%.