Mary Ziegler donates kidney to sweetheart ex Bill Henrichs.
A Minnesota woman donated one of her kidneys to her ex-husband despite being divorced from him for years.
Mary Zeigler and Bill Henrichs started dating in middle school and got married at age 18.
They stayed together for 24 years but ultimately divorced, while their children were just 8 and 5 respectively. They vowed to stay cordial for the sake of their children.
Henrichs remarried within a few years to his second wife, Linda, who had two daughters from a previous marriage. The trio worked together on parenting the brood.
“That pretty much sums it up. That he never left our family and Linda joined it,” Zeigler told Fox 9.
“I trust them both. I trust after so many years of getting along working through it I know that there’s not gonna be any strange issues. We’ll just get together and get it done,” added Henrichs.
In February, Henrichs found out he needed a kidney transplant and Zeigler offered one of her kidneys.
“Things were just starting to point my direction … and sent the first round of bloodwork down and not only were we a good match but they said we shared some antigens,” Zeigler said.
“You know for me it wasn’t even a decision. You know it was kinda like him calling up and saying can you come over and help us rake leaves. That’s how I think of it,” she said.
She said her children were proud of her. She added, “If this story changes one person’s actions or attitude towards their ex it’ll be all worth it.”
Some 114,000 people were on the national transplant waiting list as of August 2017, and 20 people die each day waiting for a transplant, according to the Department of Health & Human Services. A person is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes.
In 2017, 34,770 transplants were performed, setting a new record for the fifth consecutive year.