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After a four month search, Senate President Martin Looney, D-New Haven, found a match.

Looney, 68, has been searching for a living kidney donor since August.

Surgery is scheduled at Yale-New Haven Hospital on Dec. 20. The Senator, who has served New Haven for more than 24 years, expects to be home by Christmas.

Looney has suffered from a form of arthritis since he was in his late teens, specifically Ankylosing Spondylitis, which has permanently affected his spine and neck.

A long-term side effect of taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories or other medications for this condition can cause kidney problems, according to the Spondylitis Society of America.

In August, Looney was on the verge of having to go on dialysis and put the word out through two Catholic parishes in New Haven in hopes of finding a donor. About 30 people stepped forward called the Yale-New Haven Transplantation Center at 866-925-3897.

“The outpouring of support and kindness has truly been overwhelming,” Looney who has received many calls from friends, relatives and strangers volunteering to be evaluated as potential donors, said. “I want to thank my volunteer donor for this extraordinary gift and I look forward to seeing all of my colleagues in the General Assembly on the opening day of the legislative session.”

That recovery timeline is ambitious.

While the recovery in the hospital could take anywhere from 5 to 10 days, medical experts say kidney transplant recipients should not venture out into large crowds for at least eight weeks following surgery.

“Pace yourself, rest often and avoid crowded places including church, theaters and malls,” the University of Kansas Hospital recommends on its website.

The same website says if there are no complications from the surgery, “you may be able to resume light work activities in six to eight weeks.”

Beyond Looney’s own health, the Dec. 20 surgery may have consequences for a Senate that’s evenly divide between Democrats and Republicans. While Looney is expected to retain his leadership position that decision and many others regarding how the Senate will be organized are traditionally made on the first day of the legislative session, Jan. 4.

That’s about two weeks after surgery.

Republican Senate Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, and Looney have been meeting to figure out the details about how the Senate will operate and if Republicans will be given any leadership responsibilities, such as committee chairmanships.

No decisions have been made yet, according to Senate Democratic Caucus Spokesman Adam Joseph.