The Other Side of the ‘Kidney Divorce’

The husband wants his kidney back but Dawnell Batista, the woman in what is known as the New York Kidney Divorce, would like to be out of the media’s light.

Dr. Richard Batista and Dawnell Batista have spent the last four years trying to end their marriage. Just as their divorce hearing was about to begin Dr. Batista announced that he wants the kidney he gave to his wife back or be paid it’s value of $1.5 million. The doctor also made sure that the media would get wind of his demand.

The New York Daily News reports that Dawnell Batista’s life has turned into a reality show that she never signed on for after her estranged husband’s demands.

“Now the paparazzi are outside our house,” Dawnell says somberly. “My children are afraid to go into the bathroom for fear their picture will be taken through the window.”

Ms. Batista has enough on her plate to begin with. She has returned to work as a nurse after undergoing three kidney transplants and a double mastectomy. She claims that the marriage was not happy early on. Still she stayed hoping that it would be better. Four years ago after a counseling session with her husband a phone call ended those hopes. Her husband had left during the counseling session early saying that he was stressed out. So was Ms. Batista who was still recovering from surgery at the time. That phone call was from a friend telling her that Richard was dining with a young woman.

Dawnell has good friends. Those friends split up, some watching the couple’s young children while one stayed at the diner and then followed the doctor to a strange house. That’s where Danwell and another friend took off towards. Shortly before midnight Dawnell knocked on the door to that house. Dawnell asked the woman who answered the door if she knew that the man standing behind her was married. She didn’t.

Dawnell filed for divorce the next week.

Dr. Batista has stated that the reason for the divorce is infidelity. He has not admitted though that it is his own.

When Dawnell was pregnant with the couple’s third child her second transplanted kidney began to fail. Her husband donated his kidney in a generous act of love. Now though he wants to have either the kidney back or $1.5 million. No judge would ever demand a person risk death to ‘give back an organ’ so in reality the good doctor just wants a ton of money. He claims it’s part of the division of assets.

Dr. Batista claims that Dawnell refuses to allow the children to visit him according to journalist Joan Firstenberg’s report. He says she has tainted them against their father. Dawnell counters that their children have busy schedules and sometimes getting all three kids free at the same time is impossible.

“We have a teenaged daughter in high school, another girl who’s nearly in middle school and a boy in elementary school,” Dawnell said.

“By the grace of God, they are very active, busy, into school and sports. They have different interests, different activities. It’s hard for them to drop everything and find one block of time and one thing they all want to do together.”

Dr. Batista also told the court that prior to the divorce action he was a “24/7” father. He may have forgotten to admit though he’s been annoyed with his brood after picking up the kids and returning their after a mere fifteen minutes.

This divorce case may take some time to sort out. There are a lot of he said/she said issues to tackle.

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