“I never in a million years imagined this would happen."
When Ashley McIntyre’s mom heard on the radio about how a young man named Danny Robinson was looking for a kidney, Ashley was more than struck by his story.
Robinson was diagnosed at 16 with a kidney disease that eventually required him to get dialysis three times a week, according to People. He'd also lost his father to brain cancer, and his family’s house burned down on Christmas Day in 2011.
“It was just like one thing after another for them," McIntyre told ABC News.
Though it’s very rare for strangers to be living donors because of the risks involved, McIntyre underwent tests with the help of the University of Kentucky Transplant Center and turned out to be a match. It was a stroke of luck for Robinson because people who receive a kidney from a living donor tend to have a better quality of life than those who receive the organ from a donor who has passed, according to the National Institutes of Health.
After the test results came back, both families decided to meet, and they hit it off right away. "As soon as we started talking, it was like our families had known each other forever," McIntyre said.
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The transplant was scheduled for April 2014, and the 26-year-olds continued to bond in the hospital after the surgery, signing each other’s kidney-shaped pillows (insert: awww). “Words cannot express how much you’ve [done] for me,” Danny reportedly wrote.
McIntyre and Robinson stayed in touch after the procedure, and their relationship got serious a few months later. “It was really clear early on that this was 'it,'” she told People.
Late last year, McIntyre found out she was pregnant and on Christmas Day 2014 Robinson asked her to marry him.
“I never in a million years imagined this would happen…It’s crazy how it all worked out,” McIntyre said. The pair is expecting a baby girl in June.