Richard Batista can live with his broken heart. He just can't bear his cheating wife living with his healthy kidney.
The Long Island doctor wants the one-time love of his life to pay $1.5 million for the organ he bestowed on her eight years ago in a gift meant to save her life and their foundering marriage.
Batista charged his wife, Dawnell, repaid his gesture by first sleeping with her physical therapist - and then denying him access to their three kids in an increasingly bitter divorce.
Adding to his anguish, Batista insists his decision to donate his kidney in 2001 was in part a failed effort to rescue their troubled relationship.
"My first priority was to save her life," the 49-year-old doctor said. "The second bonus was to turn our marriage around."
Successful surgery followed at a Minnesota hospital on June 28, 2001. Batista said he was looking forward to happier times with his now-healthy bride - but his hopes proved futile.
"Nothing changed," he said.
Batista insisted his cash-for-kidney claim was a direct result of his wife's behavior. He said he hasn't seen his three daughters - ages 14, 11 and 8 - in months.
"This is my last resort," Batista said. "I didn't want to be in the public eye."
Despite the animosity, Batista insisted he would donate the kidney all over again to his hopefully soon-to-be-ex. He fondly recalls a visit to her room on the day after surgery.
From NY Daily News: