Organ donors give the gift of life, and they do so selflessly, often not knowing anything about the recipient.

A perfect match

When Christopher Dempsey donated half his liver to a complete stranger, the one thing he knew was that life would never again be exactly the same.

He had no idea how right he was, because less than two years later, he and that lucky organ recipient were married!

Christopher Dempsey and Heather Krueger’s love story began with a conversation in an office break room in Frankfort, a village south of Chicago, Illinois.

A future in question

Krueger had stage four liver disease, and her doctors had told her she only had a 50% chance of surviving another two months without a transplant.

It was in that search for a donor that Dempsey entered the picture.

Dempsey overheard a co-worker mentioning a cousin who needed a liver transplant, Mr Dempsey told the BBC.

“I just thought to myself, I would want someone to help me or my family in that situation.”

-Christopher Dempsey

That’s when he got himself tested and discovered he was somebody’s match.

First, he called to say he was her donor, and shortly afterwards they had a lunch date – and he paid.

Over the next few weeks, they spent more and more time together.

By the time of the surgery at the University Of Illinois Hospital on March 16, they had already been on a couple of dates.

“I was really confident everything was going to be okay,” said Dempsey. “I was still nervous – there is always the chance [something might go wrong] – but at no point did I rethink the decision.”

“It was just really good knowing she was going to be okay.”

His proposal came eight months later, and the two got married 19 months to the day after the transplant.

“I think it was definitely more emotional – maybe more so for her and her parents – knowing what we had both been through,”

-Christopher Dempsey

“I never would have thought in a million years when I agreed to all this that I would marry her. It is amazing.”

The golden rule

Good things come to those who do the right thing. His only motivation at the time he agreed to become an organ donor was to do what he hoped someone would do for him in the same situation- but Dempsey ended up finding the love of his life.

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