A Florida woman got married and 2 days later swapped her wedding gown for a hospital gown to donate a kidney to her husband's ex-wife
- Debby Neal-Strickland married Jim Merthe and two days later donated her kidney to Merthe's ex-wife.
- Mylaen Merthe had struggled with kidney disease for a long time and was hospitalized in November.
- Merthe and Neal-Strickland now call each other kidney sisters and have a family trip planned.
Two days after she got married, a woman in Fort Lauderdale,
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Debby Neal-Strickland told AP that she imagined Merthe's daughter giving birth and her mother not being there to greet her granddaughter, and this is what made her decide to volunteer."I just couldn't not try to change that. God told me, 'You're a match and you need to do this,'" Neal-Strickland told AP.
"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."However, there was a small problem: Neal-Strickland was due to be married to Merthe's ex-husband Jim Merthe just two days before the planned kidney transplant. Neal-Strickland considered canceling the wedding, as they had done twice before in deference to their own children's engagements, but ultimately decided to go ahead. Neal-Strickland and Jim Merthe married on November 22 after 10 years of dating.
"It was the most amazing day of my life, until two days later. That was also the most amazing day of my life," Neal-Strickland said.
She then swapped the
"We had our masks on, too, so we're crying, and of course, our stomachs were hurting because of the incisions," Merthe said. "We kinda laughed and cried."
Merthe then moved in with her daughter and son-in-law and her new grandchild to recuperate, achieving her dream of being a grandparent."I got to hold him and feed him. I was like, 'I'm actually here to see this and I'm holding this little baby,'" Merthe told AP, Merthe has since welcomed a second grandchild, born in March.
Now, they call each other kidney sisters and the entire family is planning a trip to Lake Ruban in Georgia this summer to celebrate."This is what the world is about. Family. We need to stick together," Merthe said. "She saved my life."
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