National News

Wife donates kidney to husband

Posted November 24, 2017 12:45 p.m. EST

— This Thanksgiving, people all over the world have a lot to be thankful for, but one couple in the Fowl River community is especially thankful for life this year.

One year ago this month, my mother, Dorothy Weis, donated a kidney to my father, Dr. Bob Weis.

Some say, true love conquers all, but Bob and Dorothy are living proof.

Hearing them talk about one another would put a smile on anyone's face.

"He's turned out to be the light of my life," Dorothy said.

"I never even imagined that marriage could be as nice as it has been," said Bob.

Seven years ago, Bob developed a rare autoimmune kidney disease, known as Membranopolifertive Glomerulonephritis, or MPGN.

The disease worsened over the years, forcing Bob to retire from his position as Chief of Anesthesia at the USA Medical Center.

In January 2016, his life almost came to an end.

"He was in kidney failure for so long, that he developed congestive heart failure, and the congestive heart failure landed him in the hospital on life support for a couple weeks," explained Dorothy. "That was really hard. For a while there we weren't sure if he was going to live or die."

Miraculously, my dad survived, but he was in dire need for a kidney transplant.

He was too old to be put on a donor list, so, someone needed to volunteer.

So, mom went through weeks of testing, crossing her fingers, hoping she could be the one.

"It was something I really wanted to do, and I had a peace about it," said Dorothy. "There was a lot of prayer that went into the whole decision."

As if by fate, the two were a perfect match.

"I was just as pleased as anything, and she is not only a match, she is a good match. That will probably give me 10 to 15 years of good life," explained Bob.

They went through with the surgery in November 2016 at UAB's Kidney Transplant Center.

One year later, Bob is able to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast with his family again.

"I enjoy the company around the dinner table, I just enjoy food, and last year, I couldn't enjoy much, and this will be a particularly thankful time," said Bob.

"It's the one year anniversary, and we've come so far, and life is so much nicer," Dorothy said. "We are just so thankful for UAB and the doctors that took care of us."

Now the two are a true testimony to the power of love.

"She made me realize how precious life is, and how good life with her is," Bob said.

"Years ago, I gave him my heart, so I didn't think twice about giving him a kidney," Dorothy said with a smile.