You’d think that when someone does a good deed, they’d be rewarded. Or if not rewarded, then at least given gratitude. But one hard-working single mother learned the hard way that every good deed does not go unpunished. Debbie Stevens wanted to do good in the world. So when the opportunity appeared for her to save someone’s life, she went through with it. Her boss needed a kidney, and Debbie was a match. Little did she know that she was falling into a pit of despair.
The divorced mother of two had worked at Atlantic Automotive Group, which operates car dealerships. But she was ready for a change, so she left the company in 2010 and moved to Florida. She came back to Long Island to see her daughter and visited her former employer during the trip. That’s when she learned her former boss Jackie Brucia needed a kidney transplant.
“She said she had a possible donor, a friend or something,” Stevens said. “But I told her if anything happened that I’d be willing to donate my kidney.”
She returned to Florida. But things weren’t the same. She decided to move back to Long Island. She was still on good terms with her employer, so she took a new job there.
In January 2011, Brucia told Debbie that her donor had been denied and that she needed her help.
“I didn’t want her to die,” Debbie said.
She went to get tested but found she wasn’t an exact match. However, Debbie decided to donate her kidney to someone in need in St. Louis through the kidney donation network on Brucia’s behalf. As a result, Debbie’s boss got preferential treatment and received a kidney from someone else.
Instead of being grateful for Debbie, Brucia was horrible to her.
“I spoke to (Brucia) a couple of weeks after the surgery, and she really made me feel bad I wasn’t recuperating quick enough,” Debbie said.
Although she had only donated a kidney to save her boss’s life, her boss showed no gratitude.
Against doctor’s orders, Debbie returned to work four weeks after surgery, although a minimum of eight weeks is recommended.
But it was hard. She called in sick one day. And Brucia called her to threaten her.
“People are going to think you’re getting special treatment.”
But Brucia started demanding more. Then she started treating Debbie like trash.
Brucia screamed “at me about things I never did, carrying on to the point where she wouldn’t even let me leave my desk. It was constant, constant screaming.”
Before the surgery, Brucia had been friendly. But after Debbie saved her life, her boss became a witch.
“She just started treating me horribly, viciously, inhumanly after the surgery. It was almost like she hired me just to get my kidney.”
Brucia took away Debbie’s office and reduced her hours. Then she was transferred to a branch in a high-crime neighborhood.
“It got so bad that I’d start to tear up at times.”
Debbie asked for clearance to use the bathroom when she needed and not to carry loads more than ten pounds. Brucia denied both requests.
Then Debbie was fired. Now she’s stuck in the middle of a lawsuit with her former employer as she’s trying to prove she was wrongfully terminated.
Whose side are you on in this disagreement?