Debby-Neal Strickland gave a kidney to Jim Merthe’s ex-wife Mylaen Merthe two days after they married.

Today’s good news article exemplifies how love and compassion can triumph over hatred and separation.

Mylaen, 59, had been suffering from kidney illness for a long time. She was ghostly pale with dark circles under her eyes by last year, and she dragged herself through the workday with no vitality. Her kidneys were only 8 percent functional when she was brought to the hospital in November.

Despite the fact that Jim and Mylaen have been divorced for nearly two decades, they got along swimmingly while raising their two children.

Debby chose to donate a kidney because she knew Mylaen was about to become a grandma for the first time.

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’.”

“It was the most amazing day of my life, until two days later. That was also the most amazing day of my life,” Debby said.

As soon as she regained consciousness, the new bride asked about Mylaen. A few floors below, Mylaen was also pleading with the nurses — “I need to see her. That was the first thing out of my mouth.”

Debby could already see the difference. The circles under Mylaen’s eyes were gone, “she looked so alive and revitalized.”

Debby and Mylean now refer to each other as kidney sisters. They pray for one another and are planning a large family vacation to Lake Rabun in Georgia this summer.

“This is what the world is about. Family. We need to stick together,” Mylaen said. “She saved my life.”

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