Two days after getting married a Florida women donated her kidney to her husband’s ex-wife.
Mylaen Merthe struggled with kidney disease for a long time. In November after being admitted into the hospital, she found out that her kidneys were only functioning at 8%. Her brother offered to give her a kidney but was not a match.
Jim Merthe and Mylaen have been divorced for almost two decades, but work well co-parenting to their two children. Jim found a new love, Debby Neal-Strickland and the two have been together for ten years. Although the women were not particularly close, they always got along at family gatherings.
Once Debby found out Mylaen could not find a match for her kidney, she offered to donate hers.
Debby knew Mylaen was about to be a grandmother for the first time. She pictured Mylaen’s daughter giving birth, “and her mom not being there. I just couldn’t not try to change that,” she said according to ABC News. “God told me, ‘You’re a match and you need to do this.'”
Debby’s brother passed away of cystic fibrosis while waiting for a double lung transplant. She offered one of her lungs, but was not a match and he needed two.
“When somebody needs an organ, if they don’t get it, they’re probably not going to make it. I know it’s something that you do quickly,” Neal-Strickland said.
After months of testing and delays from COVID, Debby was confirmed a match. The transplant was scheduled for just two days after Jim and Debby’s wedding.
The couple married on November 22. “It was the most amazing day of my life, until two days later. That was also the most amazing day of my life,” she said.
After surgery, the Mylaen and Debby were able to reunite. “We had our masks on too, so we’re crying, and of course our stomachs were hurting because of the incisions,” said Mylaen. “We kinda laughed and cried.”
The women now call themselves kidney sisters and are planning a huge family trip this summer.
“This is what the world is about. Family. We need to stick together,” Mylaen said. “She saved my life.”
Listen to the Andie Summers Show talk about the topic HERE