Transplant Dreams Squashed

A husband is deported to Poland

A New Britain woman waiting for a transplant may have lost her only chance to get a new kidney. 

Vivian Nowakowski's husband was deported to Poland despite efforts by a Connecticut congressman and other local politicians to get him to stay in the United States.

Immigration officials arrested Andrzej Nowakowski, 43, in April after he listed two prior drug convictions on a green card replacement application.

The federal government said Nowakowski violated terms of his residency in the U.S. because he was convicted and imprisoned for a prior drug conviction.

Andrzej's wife fought for eight months to keep him in the state because he is her primary caregiver. Without him, she could lose her chance to get the transplant she needs.

Last Wednesday, as Vivian awaited an answer from the immigration office in Hartford, her husband was deported.

“I said the status is still pending to my understanding, and they said they’re not aware of that and that they’re only doing their job,” she said.

Vivian said they failed to see the bigger picture.

Andrzej was her caregiver and a vital part of her survival. She needs a kidney transplant but doctors told her she’s off the list if there is no one to take care of her.

“Not only are they punishing him, they’re punishing me from living and they’re punishing my son from not having a father and maybe not having a mother when he comes back from deployment. That’s wrong,” she said. 

Vivian and Andrzej's son David is a U.S. Marine stationed in Camp Pendleton. He is home for now but Vivian refuses to let him take a personal leave for her sake.

“Like she said earlier, I’m not her caregiver. My father is and he should be here,” David Lompardo said.

The Nowakowski family said they will fight to bring Andrzej home but it’s 10 times more complicated now that he’s thousands of miles away.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Christopher Murphy had sent a letter to federal officials on behalf of the couple who hoped Gov. M. Jodi Rell would support a pardon for him.

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