In Kentucky, a woman donated her kidney to a total stranger and now, unbelievably, the recipient is engaged and expecting a baby with the donor.
According to the Daily Mail, Ashley McIntyre discovered Danny Robinson needed an organ donor from his mother, Kim, who was talking about it on a radio show. Although countless family members offered to donate to Robinson, no one matched so he spent two years on a transplant waiting list.
Robinson suffers from IgA nephropathy (also known as Bergers disease), which is a kidney disorder that causes antibodies called IgA to build up in kidney tissue. Unfortunately, in IgA nephropathy there is a slow progression to chronic kidney failure in 25-30% of cases during a period of 20 years.
On April 17, Robinson and McIntyre underwent the transplant; and when they visited each others rooms, Robinson gave McIntyre a musical jewelry box that read, “Words cannot express how much [you’ve] done for me. Ashley, you’re an angel.”
She said, “I never in a million years imagined this would happen…it was a whirlwind. It’s crazy how it all worked. It was all planned out by God. I know being a living organ donor is not possible for a lot of people. But it’s something to just think about. It’s just kind of a human thing, something (to) do for another person that could change their life.”
Amazingly, Danny’s mother, Denise Stutzenberger knew they were going to get engaged before it happened. She said, “I told her, ‘You are going to be my daughter-in-law, you just don’t know it yet.’ I don’t know how to explain it. Something in me told me.” There engagement is particularly unusual because in Kentucky only one per cent of living kidney donations are from strangers. In 2014, there were 135 kidney transplants and only 33 involving living donors.
She [McIntyre] then underwent a series of tests and found they matched perfectly. When the procedure was ‘almost set in stone’, the two families agreed to meet at a Cheesecake Factory restaurant and they ‘all clicked immediately’.
Following that, Miss McIntyre and Mr Robinson, who are both from Louisville, Kentucky, chatted on the phone and regularly exchanged messages.
Then in April she underwent the operations which went smoothly. It left her with one kidney and him with three — his two non-functional ones and hers working beside them. When the two were discharged from hospital, they remained close and started a romantic relationship after a Memorial Day family barbecue.
On Christmas Day, he proposed and she accepted. The two are now expecting a baby in June and are hoping to buy their own place.
‘It still doesn’t register to me,’ Miss McIntyre said. ‘Before all of this [attention], we don’t really think about our situation. We just live our daily lives. So to relive it all is kind of surreal, but it’s awesome.’