FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — They aren't supposed to get along, let alone be friends, but this new wife and ex-wife say they're sisters for life after a kidney transplant.
In November, Debby Neal-Strickland put on a lace gown and married her longtime sweetheart, Jim. Two days later, she put on a hospital gown and donated a kidney to her new husband’s ex-wife.
Jim Merthe and Mylaen Merthe, his ex, told “Good Morning America” that they’ve been divorced for more than 10 years, but they’ve always gotten along while raising their two adult children.
Mylaen told “GMA” that she struggled with kidney disease for over 30 years and that her condition worsened over the last three years.
Last fall, the Merthes’ daughter was due to give birth to their first grandbaby and Debby says it was her mission to help Mylaen meet her grandson, saying God told her she would be a match.
She ended up being a match and the two underwent surgery for the transplant about six months ago.
Mylaen told “GMA” that she feels like a “totally new human being” and that she credits Debby with saving her life.