A Woman Donated An Organ To Her Boss & Got Fired Weeks Later — 'This Is Why You Don't Go Above & Beyond For Your Boss'

'It's almost like she hired me just to get my kidney,' the woman said.

Woman Donated An Organ To Her Boss sturti / Getty Images via Canva, BearFotos, umarazak / Shutterstock

You know the old saying, "no good deed goes unpunished"? Well... we hate to fuel that idiom's inherent cynicism but, hoo boy — have we got a story for you. It centers on a woman who made the ultimate sacrifice for her employer, and in return got, well, screwed — and in a shocking way.

In 2012, Long Island mom Debbie Stevenson donated an organ to her boss — and then got fired weeks later.

Surely this is coincidental, right? Surely Ms. Stevenson did something terrible in the weeks after her donation that left her boss with no other recourse, yes? LOL sadly, not so much! 


Lots of time has passed since Stevenson's debacle, but nearly 14 years has not been enough to make people forget about it — nor has it made the lesson it teaches any more relatable all these years later. 

Recently, her tale resurfaced on social media among activists and those sensitive to issues like the pro-union movement, fair pay initiatives, and other reforms to the way the American economy and workplace function.

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Stevenson says her boss began retaliating against her immediately after she donated her kidney.

In 2012, Stevenson filed a complaint to the New York State Human Rights Commission saying that her boss Jackie Brucia used her for her kidney then promptly fired her "after the woman got what she wanted."

Speaking to ABC News around that time, Stevenson said, "she just started treating me horribly, viciously, inhumanly after the surgery... I don't have words strong enough or large enough to describe her treatment of me...screaming at me about things I never did, carrying on to the point where she wouldn't even let me leave my desk."

Stevenson went on to say that the longer the situation went on, the more it started to look like an actual scheme. "It was almost like she hired me just to get my kidney," she told ABC. But the more you dig into the details of what happened after she donated a kidney to her boss, the more that starts to seem like far more than mere suspicion.

tweet about woman who donated an organ to her boss and got firedPhoto: @fu-kyouiquit / Twitter


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Brucia hired Stevenson out of the blue in 2010, and approached Stevenson about donating her kidney immediately after.

Stevenson had previously worked at the car dealership where Brucia was boss, leaving in 2010 to move to Florida. She returned to New York later that year to visit her daughter and dropped into the dealership to say hello to her former colleagues, which is when she found out about Brucia's health issues.

"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 kind of jokingly replied, 'You never know, I may have to take you up on that one day.'"

As luck would have it, Stevenson ended up moving back to Long Island a few months later, and inquired with Brucia about getting her job back. Brucia didn't even hesitate to hire her back, and a few weeks later approached her about the kidney donation. 


Stevenson immediately agreed—not because she was protecting her job or income, but "because it's who I am. I didn't want her to die." She even went so far as to donate her kidney to someone else when testing revealed hers was not a match for Brucia, so that Brucia would still be able to move up the list of those waiting for a kidney donor.

But once she returned to work after the surgery, the situation became clear—she was first demoted, and then Brucia's abusive behavior began. Once Stevenson hired an attorney, that was it—within a week of her lawyer contacting the company, she was fired. 

It's a testament to how shocking the story is that it has endured so long. As activist Joshua P Hill put it on Twitter (or X, or whatever we're calling it now), "this is why you don’t go above and beyond for your boss." Fortunately, many of us have bosses who would never do this to us. But still... it's hard not to feel like you can't ever be too careful.


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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.