PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Despite the heartbreaking loss, the Philadelphia Eagles did have one happy story line. An Eagles fan who had a kidney donated to her by a Patriots fan got a chance to see the Birds in action for the first time.
It was a dream come true for Patti Pizzimenti. She met quarterback Carson Wentz on the field and fulfilled her lifelong dream of attending an Eagles game at Lincoln Financial Field.
“Just watching them getting ready for the game, the excitement is there,” Pizzimenti said.
Pizzimenti said witnessing the Eagles from the sideline is everything.
“Oh my God. I can’t even begin to tell you the excitement and the thrill of first time ever coming to a game in Philadelphia,” she said.
Pizzimenti lives in Connecticut. The Northeast Philadelphia native moved there 43 years ago after she got married.
Because of a hereditary disease, she needed a kidney transplant. A donor named John Houlihan, a die-hard Patriots fan, came through.
Since sharing their story on CBS3, Eagles president Don Smolenski arranged for Pizzimenti to attend the Patriots-Eagles game. She sat in the second row at the 50-yard line.
“We were trying to invite her donor as well and make it a reunion here at the game, but it didn’t quite all work out, but we got Patti out and we know she’s thrilled to be here for the game,” Smolenski said.
Although Pizzimenti will always choose the Birds first, she says the Patriots aren’t so bad.
“I do have to have a special place in my heart because my actual donor is in Connecticut — John — and he’s true Patriots fan. I have to back him up,” Pizzmenti said.
She’s sporting the same shirt she wore when she first met Houlihan.
“Can you believe I took a kidney from a Patriots fan?” Pizzimenti said.
It saved her life. One of the most grateful is her husband of 42 years, John Pizzimenti.
“I think the most important lesson is people can give life by giving a kidney,” he said.
John Pizzimenti donated his kidney to their daughter 29 years ago.