A Chicago man donated one of his kidneys to his longtime girlfriend on Tuesday at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.
Terry Lee and Trish Beckwith began dating in 2010. Just five months later, Trish learned that she had Lupus, an autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system attacks its tissues causing inflammation, swelling and pain.
Shortly after the diagnosis, she discovered the condition had caused both of her kidneys to shut down.
After undergoing tests, it was found that none of her family members were a match, but that Lee was a perfect match.
Shortly after, the couple and their families turned to Vanderbilt to be placed on a list for a transplant operation.
“She was actually in the hospital [and was] bed ridden, I told her, I whispered to her, ‘I'm going to donate my kidney to you,'” he recalled.
Lee said the decision was an easy one to make.
“I'm O positive [too and] I'm in pretty decent shape, [so I thought], ‘Why not,'” he explained.
He continued, “If you want to be with that person, then imagine being without them, and it's not a good feeling, you're probably in love.”
Beckwith said that her relationship with Lee is like that of a fairy tale.
“First I meet this guy, and we hit it off, then I get sick,” she said, continuing, “He's a match and then Valentine's Day is the surgery. This is getting crazier every minute.”
The couple was able to spend some time together in their hospital room before undergoing the operations.
“I just want to say thank you. I love you,” Beckwith said.
After undergoing the transplant, Beckwith said she will no longer have to be on dialysis which has affected the couple's relationship and time together.
“I'm going to be able to climb stairs without being tired. I'm going to be able to run. I'll be able to walk longer distances,” she said.
Both Beckwith and Lee came through the surgery with no complications and were recovering Tuesday evening.
The couple will remain in the hospital for three days before being released.