Who says exes can’t get along?
A Florida woman, who just got married on Nov. 22, 2020, donated her kidney to her new husband’s ex-wife two days after the ceremony.
The newlywed, Debby Neal-Strickland says she and the kidney recipient, Mylaen Merthe, who was battling kidney disease for more than 30 years and was on the verge of dialysis, now call themselves “kidney sisters.
“She’s a person and she needed a kidney and I had one. I was healthy enough to give it to her,” Neal-Strickland, 56, told Good Morning America.
“She’s also the mother of my guy’s kids and they were having their first two grandchildren.”
Jim Merthe, 56, and Mylaen, 59, divorced over a decade ago and have remained on good terms while co-parenting their two children.
He and new wife Neal-Strickland got married ten years after their first date.
Mylaen told Good Morning America that after her brother wasn’t a match she didn’t get her hopes up for her ex-husband’s new wife to be a match.
“The doctors couldn’t even believe what a close match we were,” Debby said. “They thought we were such a close match that it was unbelievable. So I just feel like that was God’s intention – that it was my destiny.”
Neal-Strickland says organ donation has already been important to her after losing her brother to cystic fibrosis 26 years ago while he was waiting for a double lung transplant. She wanted to offer up one lung but wasn’t a match.
Mylaen said she feels like “a totally new human being” six months post-transplant, and she credits Debby with saving her life.
“All I ever wanted was to be a grandma and to have grandchildren and to be there for them,” she said. “Now I’ve got two and it’s because of her.”