Former firefighter who nearly lost his life in 9/11 saves a stranger's by ...

A former firefighter who nearly died in 9/11 is a hero once more after he donated his kidney to a complete stranger. 

Retired New York City firefighter Kevin Shea, 51, donated his kidney 3,000 miles to 59-year-old California special education teacher Lois Knudson.

Knudson suffered from a degenerative kidney disease that killed her mother and sister and had waited four years for a transplant.

On Thursday, the two met for the first time in New York City.  

Kevin Shea, right, donated his kidney to Lois Knudson, left, who was suffering from a deadly kidney disease that killed her mother and sister 

The five-pound kidney was packaged in a medical cooler and put on a commercial flight to LAX from Kennedy Airport

The five-pound kidney was packaged in a medical cooler and put on a commercial flight to LAX from Kennedy Airport

Shea is a third-generation firefighter from Long Island who survived the September 11 attacks. 

He was off-duty when the fateful alarm sounded and volunteered to go to work. 

'There was an extra seat on the engine,' he told The Post.

'I'll take that, sir,' Shea told his lieutenant.

He was just outside the South Tower when it collapsed and was found lying on the ground, unconscious with a broken neck.  

Shea woke in a hospital in Newark, New Jersey, where he learned he was only one of 13

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