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Police officer Marie Frawley, an evening student at the midpoint in her four-year program at New York Law School, returns to classes this week after an unusual summer vacation. Late last month, she underwent kidney transplant surgery and saved the life of a total stranger. “I’ve got a little discomfort, but I’m feeling better,” Frawley, 36, said. “I’ve been taking it slow. I don’t want to stunt my recovery.” The three-hour laparoscopic procedure performed at Westchester Medical Center is especially painful to small, slender people such as Frawley, she said, because it involves inflating the stomach with carbon dioxide gas so doctors can safely access the kidneys. “It’s like getting stabbed,” she said. Frawley’s medical odyssey began in March, when she read an article in the parish bulletin at St. Margaret’s Roman Catholic Church in Pearl River, the Rockland County village where she has lived all her life. The item was about Janemarie Edmonson, a 37-year-old Pearl River nurse suffering kidney failure as a result of diabetes. “The bulletin basically asked someone to come forward and donate,” said Frawley, who is assigned to the New York Police Department Legal Bureau at One Police Plaza. What with law school, a stepdaughter to look after and her career with the NYPD as well as her husband’s, she admitted to being “a little busy in everyday life.” “But I’d grown up in the town, and [Edmonson] was only a year older than me, so I figured I might be a match,” Frawley said. For the next six weeks, she carried the bulletin article in her pocketbook and brooded. Frawley told her husband, Gene Kastner, that she had “an intuition” that she was the perfect donor — but she waited a while to announce that. “Oh, he’d go through the roof,” she said. “He’d say to me, ‘Don’t you have enough going on?’” But Kastner, posted to gang intelligence work at Manhattan’s 24th Precinct, eventually understood that his wife had to do the right thing. “I have great health,” Frawley said. “It’s sad to me to think, here I am living my good life and there’s somebody suffering — right in my home town.” During the decision-making process, which involved blood-match tests and an assessment of her ability to sustain a single-kidney future, Frawley exercised patience with her sister, husband and others who expressed reservations. “Honestly, the body’s an amazing thing,” she said she told them. “You really only need one kidney.” Edmonson, of course, sees things more grandly. “I don’t think I can every repay her,” she said of her benefactor.

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