Couple from Bay City’s D’Angelo’s restaurant ‘an exact match’ for life-saving transplant

BAY CITY, MI — A popular Bay City restaurant is preparing to close temporarily while its owner and manager undergo a life-saving medical procedure.

About a year ago, David Baranowski, who opened D’Angelo’s in 2009, was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure. He would need to undergo dialysis around the clock and was placed on the list for a kidney transplant.

That devastating diagnosis was soon followed by a wonderful and unexpected turn of events. Kellie Berry, his partner in life and at their restaurant, was a perfect match.

“It turns out I was an exact match, so we were extremely happy to say the least,” Berry said. “It’s pretty crazy when you think about it. The universe works in mysterious ways.”

Their surgeries are scheduled to take place at Mayo Clinic on Friday, Sept. 3.

D’Angelo’s will be closed beginning Monday, Aug. 30, and through the month of September to allow Baranowski and Berry time to recover. Its tentative reopening date is Oct. 1.

Related: Local Eats: Bay City’s D’Angelo’s has burgers, pizza and even vegan food

The couple announced the news via the D’Angelo’s Facebook page:

“The time has come……

September 3rd….Transplant Day.

Chef Kellie will be donating a kidney to Chef Dave (a perfect match, go figure!). We are thrilled, anxious, excited and grateful…what an absolute roller-coaster of emotions this past year has been.

While we’re looking forward to transplant, this means that D’Angelo’s will be closed for all of September. Chef Dave and Chef Kellie will be taking this time to heal, and to come back stronger than ever (and possibly with some new exciting changes for D’Angelo’s).

We will be open our normal business hours this last week of August, closed all of September, with a tentative re-opening day of October 1st.

We can’t thank you all enough for your prayers, kind words and endless support. We are blessed to be part of such an amazing community.

Dave and Kellie”

Berry said their customers and staff “have been amazingly supportive” throughout this process, sending cards, gifts and messages and even offering to water the restaurant’s flowers and garden while it’s closed.

“We’re very, very lucky to have the community that we do here,” she said. “We’re so grateful for everybody’s support and their messages and prayers, and we just look forward to coming back stronger and better come October.”

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