This love story begins with a generous woman giving one of her kidneys to a stranger and that grateful man reciprocating by offering her his heart. First he accepted, later she accepted and now they plan to marry. What started out as a transplant lead to nuptials!
This all began with Ashley McIntyre’s mother listening to a radio program in January 2014. She heard about a 25 year-old man who had 12 hours of dialysis each week while working full-time as an electrician. He suffered from an inflammatory disease affecting the kidneys. Danny Robinson needed a transplant and there was no match for him in his family.
As bad as it can be with needing a kidney, Danny’s story was bigger than that. In 2011 his house burned down and the year after that Danny’s father died as a result of brain cancer.
Ashley overheard her mother discussing Danny’s story with her grandmother. Her mother commented that because she had Type-O blood, which is the universal donor, she would give him a kidney if it were not for her health issues. Ashley considered the series of events in Danny’s life and the fact that she, too, had Type-O blood with no health problems, decided to see if she was a match.
She called the very next day to arrange the testing. Not wanting to get Danny’s hopes up should she not be a match Ashley chose not to meet him until she knew the outcome of the testing.
They were a perfect match. The first time they met happened in March and Ashley felt nervous. She did not think they would end up dating, but she did think he was cute. She said that it seemed like the families already knew each other as soon as they started talking.
With the possibility of having a regular life again, Danny was excited when he received the news that there was a match for him. He also thought that anyone considering such a thing would be a great person.
She was nervous about the surgery and he was calm. He reassured her that all would be well.
In April, Dr. Malay Shah, of the University of Kentucky, performed the transplant. Dr. Shah explained that when Danny was 23 years-old his condition, known as IgA nephropathy, caused him to go into kidney failure. After that he began dialysis and he needed a transplant. The average wait time to receive a kidney from a deceased donor is around three years. Perhaps the wait time motivated Danny to go on the local radio program.
The recovery time for both Ashley and Danny took a few days. They kept in contact after leaving the hospital and on Memorial Day weekend they started dating.
On Christmas, Danny got down on one knee and proposed to Ashley. The sad story of one tragedy after another changed when a grateful man accepted the kidney transplant from a generous woman leading them to their nuptials.
It was an amazing year for the two of them. Not only did this transplant lead to nuptials, it also lead to the beginning of a new family. Ashley and Danny are expecting a little girl in June!
By Ailey Hines
Photo by Rose Davies – License