A Man Honored for Improving the Lives of Many New Yorkers Credits Mount Sinai

Paul Navarro, a Mount Sinai Kidney Transplant Recipient and One of NYC’s Most Highly Honored Public Servants, Calls Going to Mount Sinai “the Best Decision I Have Made.”

By the time Paul Navarro had his kidney transplant at Mount Sinai in 1998 at the age of 48, he had already had a long and distinguished career as a public servant and community activist in New York City. Despite struggling with chronic high blood pressure and being on dialysis for kidney failure in the early 1990s, Paul had continued his community service, receiving numerous accolades for his work along the way. But it was the kidney transplant he received at Mount Sinai that enabled him to “operate at a different speed” and do his best work in the years that followed, he said.

Born and raised in the South Bronx, Paul began his career in the 1980s as a community activist aspiring to end the urban blight and poverty in the neighborhoods he’d grown up in. He worked on local governing boards to renovate the derelict buildings of the South Bronx and improve the quality of its neighborhoods. He later joined the Koch administration’s Division of Labor Services monitoring equal employment opportunities and prevailing wage rates in the construction industry. He then moved on to help tenants with rent and repair issues in the City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).

In 2006, he was awarded the prestigious Isaac Lieberman Award for outstanding public service by New York City’s Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. In June 2009, New York Congressman Charles Rangel on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives paid special tribute to Paul, calling him a “a courageous New Yorker and exceptional human being, for his commitment, and tireless efforts, in improving the lives of so many…”

Unfortunately, around the same time, Paul began to show symptoms of chronic kidney rejection, and in 2009, he returned to dialysis in New Jersey where he now lives. Although he was forced to retire due to his poor health, he was eager to be listed for transplant.

One Saturday afternoon in June 2012, while celebrating his heritage and enjoying the Puerto Rican Day parade with his family (he has two daughters, six grandchildren and four great grandchildren) Paul received a call from Mount Sinai informing him a kidney that was a good match had become available for transplant. He hurried to the hospital and the transplant operation was performed successfully. 

From his room at Mount Sinai, he said, “Mount Sinai is my hospital. Going to Mount Sinai so many years ago was the best decision I have made. I have great, great doctors and I am improving everyday!”