“Even though he’s gone, he gave more people life. He is with Jesus today, I know this,” said Ludmina Piurehpour with a sad smile.
Piurehpour and Julie Kaldani reminisced Monday about their co-worker at Magic Cut in Turlock, 40-year-old Edwin Adam, who suffered a ruptured aneurysm Sept. 13 and was taken off life support Sept. 16.
As he lingered, a steady stream of friends came to Emanuel Medical Center to say goodbye, some from his native Chicago, others from Arizona, San Jose – “all over,” said his sister Adrian Martinez.
“There were hundreds of people coming in and out,” she said. “We met so many people who existed in his life we didn’t know.”
He was a person who liked to give, even at the last moment of his life. Julie Kaldani
At 10 a.m. Thursday, friends and family will say a last farewell in funeral services at Turlock Memorial Park. Adam was single, and left no children. He is survived by his sister and parents, Isaac and Sonia Adam of Turlock.
But Adam lives on in at least two organ recipients, one who received his heart and, in what Martinez calls a triple miracle, his cousin in Rancho Cordova, who received a kidney.
“As soon as they told us his brain was dead, I told the doctors I have a cousin who needs a kidney,” she said. Sebastian Benjamin, 35, was on dialysis.
After many calls and much paperwork, it was discovered his and Adam’s blood type did not match. But, in what she sees as the first miracle, her brother was discovered to be a universal donor. Benjamin’s doctor approved the surgery – “That’s another miracle,” she said.
The transplant was successful, and Benjamin is recovering well, Martinez said. Miracle No. 3.
“Edwin had a heart of gold. He would give, give, give. Even in his death, he gave, gave, gave,” she said.
Benjamin’s mother, Joan Benjamin, said her son had been on dialysis – three days a week for 4 1/2 hours each time – for the last two years and was on a waiting list for a transplant.
“Thank God, he’s good. It is a long process, but he’s doing good,” Benjamin said Wednesday. “It’s a wonderful chance. God and Jesus opened a chance for him,” she said.
He said, ‘When I die, I don’t want to take my organs down to the earth. I want to make people happy.’ Joan Benjamin, recalling Edwin Adam
But her joy is bittersweet. “My heart is broken for my nephew. So young,” she said. “He had a very big heart. He put it on his license. He said, ‘When I die, I don’t want to take my organs down to the earth. I want to make people happy.’ ”
His heart went to a San Ramon man, Benjamin said, and his liver, second kidney and the rest of his organs went to others. “So many things he gave,” she said.
It was what Adam did, friends said.
Piurehpour and Kaldani said he would dash out of the shop if he saw a homeless person, often taking them to the supermarket next door to buy them food.
“Such a good heart. He always loved to help people,” said Piurehpour.
On average, 13 people die each day waiting for a kidney transplant. The median wait is 3.6 years.
“He was a person who liked to give, even at the last moment of his life,” Kaldani added.
Both women say Adam, the shop’s cosmetologist, was like a son to them and brought an energy to work that made the days fly by. “He always made the shop fun,” Piurehpour said.
The last day he worked was Sept. 10, making them laugh as they mopped the floor and tidied the salon before leaving. That was the last time they saw him. On Tuesday he texted that he would be late, asking them to open the shop for him. Within hours, their good friend was gone.
“We will miss him so much,” Kaldani said.