When a woman marries, she is usually filled with gifts. But a big-hearted girlfriend recently decided that it was better to give than to receive. In fact, he gave the greatest gift of all: the gift of life.
Just two days after taking her vows, Debby Neal-Strickland in Florida traded in her wedding dress for a hospital gown to donate a desperately needed kidney. The lucky recipient? The ex-wife of her new husband.
Debby and Jim Strickland have been a devoted couple for a decade. Throughout their courtship, Jim maintained a cordial relationship with his ex, Mylaen Merthe, raising their two children amicably, and while Debby and Mylaen weren’t particularly close, they got along well.
And it is likely that the relationship would have remained that way until fate dictated otherwise.
Mylaen, who had suffered from kidney disease for a long time, got worse around the same time that she learned that her daughter was pregnant with her first grandchild. His kidneys were working at only 8% of their normal capacity. Without a transplant, her chances of survival decreased every day.
The search for a compatible donor was underway. Mylaen’s brother wasn’t a viable candidate, but miraculously Debby was.
For Debby, the idea of a girl growing up without knowing her grandmother, of a daughter dealing with grief when she should be concentrating on the joys of new motherhood, was not something she was willing to let happen if she could do something to stop it. . that.
Having lost a brother to cystic fibrosis while waiting for a lung transplant, he knew that time was of the essence. With the green light for the tissue sample and blood tests, Debby voluntarily scheduled her life-saving surgery just 48 hours after her nuptials.
“It was the most amazing day of my life, until two days later. That was also the most amazing day of my life, “Debby said. Fox News.
Since the successful procedure, Mylaen and Debby have teamed up and now refer to each other as “kidney sisters.” Mylaen is watching her new grandson Jackson grow up from the home she currently shares with her daughter and son-in-law, even as Debby and Jim’s family of six adopted children and grandchildren has expanded to include Mylaen and their brood in their loving embrace. .
And all thanks to a “gesture of the heart”.
“This is what the world is about. Family. We have to stick together, ”Mylaen told FOX. “She saved my life.”
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