Two days after Debby Neal-Strickland married her husband, Jim Merthe, she donated a kidney to Jim's ex-wife, Mylaen Merthe.
Jim and Mylaen divorced almost two decades ago, but both continued to be involved raising their two children. Mylaen had been battling kidney disease for a long time before she was admitted to the hospital with her kidneys functioning at only 8%. Her brother volunteered to donate a kidney but was not a match, and that's when Debby stepped in.
Debby knew that Mylaen was about to become a grandmother for the first time — her daughter was pregnant.
She imagined Mylaen's daughter giving birth, "and her mom not being there. I just couldn't not try to change that," she said. "God told me, ‘You're a match and you need to do this.'"
And so she did. The transplant was successful and Mylaen was able to move in with her daughter, and now her new grandson.
"I got to hold him and feed him," said Mylaen, "I was like, ‘I'm actually here to see this and I'm holding this little baby.'"