Illinois couple Heather Krueger and Chris Dempsey are a perfect match in more ways than one.
It all began in January 2015, when Chris overheard a co-worker talking about a family member in need of a living liver donor. That family member was Heather; she had been diagnosed with stage 4 liver disease the year before and needed a transplant to save her life.
Without hesitation and without ever having met Heather, Chris — a former Marine — was determined to help. He got tested and was a match.
“I put myself in Heather’s position and thought what it would be like to not know if you’re going to make it,” Chris told The Huffington Post. “And I thought to myself, You know what — I’m just going to do this.”
“[Chris] called me and said the tests came out great, let’s do this, I’m a match, I’m your donor,” Heather told ABC News. “I couldn’t believe it.”
The transplant surgery was scheduled for March 2015. It was a long, intense procedure — eight hours for Chris and 12 hours for Heather. In the end, 55 percent of Chris’ liver was removed and given to Heather.
The pair grew close in the time leading up to the surgery, and afterwards, they took their relationship to the next level.
“We started spending more and more time together, doing dinners and going to the movies,” Chris told HuffPost. “After the surgery, we really made it official and started hitting it off.”
Despite some post-op setbacks, both parties are now healthy and doing well.
“No regrets,” Chris told ABC7 WLS. “I would do it again if I had to.”
In December 2015, after thinking about it for several months, Chris decided to pop the question to Heather. He planned a romantic evening in Chicago, including dinner at The Signature Room at the John Hancock Center, followed by a carriage ride and, of course, a proposal.
Now, the couple is busy planning a wedding for October 2016. Krueger’s cousin, who first introduced them, will be a groomsman.
H/T ABC News