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Wife Gives Husband Gift of Life for Valentine's Day

By Ben Rainwater
By brainwater@wbbjtv.com

OAKFIELD, Tenn. -- This Valentine's Day, a local couple says they can finally celebrate the holiday, after a long year of healing.

Thomas and Kim Duncan, a married couple from Jackson, say a kidney surgery a year ago has changed everything.

"We were at the point in our relationship where we can enjoy life," Thomas Duncan said. "And instead of enjoying life, I was facing dialysis and not being able to do that."

Thomas, who had a history of kidney disease, needed a second transplant. That's where his wife Kim -- a perfect match -- stepped in.

"Between the first and second one, he was on dialysis for several years," Kim said. "And so we'd seen his health deteriorate during that time and we just didn't want to do that this time."

After going under the knife last Valentine's Day, the Duncans began a long recovery together, but they say that healing process has made their relationship stronger than ever.

"The time we spent together, every second of it, was put to maximum use," Thomas said. "Even the surgery right afterwards, we bonded more and more, and I never thought we could do that."

After a successful surgery and a year of good health, Thomas says that he is still trying to figure out a way to repay his wife who literally gave up a part of herself for him.

"Valentine's is all about love. And what's a better way to express love than for your spouse to give you a kidney?" Thomas said. "I mean, is that the ultimate gift or what? I just have a problem trying to figure out how to give back to her!"

The Duncan's say the original surgery was never intended for last Valentine's Day, but Thomas sprained his ankle on the way into the hospital, and the doctor's opted for that day instead.
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