NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - When Tom Danz said "I do" at the altar 35 years ago when he married his wife Angela, he meant it. When she was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2013, giving her his kidney was an easy solution. Unfortunately he wasn't a match.
Angela, of East Islip, had no kidneys and underwent dialysis for 26 months until last week when she finally received a kidney as part of a three-way swap.
"We had to find somebody around the country with a donor that our patient would not react to. That was in Missouri," said Dr. Frank Darras, medical director of the kidney transplant program with Stony Brook Medicine. "Missouri had a similar patient -- they found a match in Minnesota. They had a donor there who matched with our patient."
Darras said this paired kidney exchange is part new of a national program. It involves connecting with donors in other states who too have tried to give their kidney to a loved one but have mismatched.
"If it wasn't for donors, my husband included, I wouldn't be here feeling life like I've been reborn," Angela said.
Angela can now have soup and pizza, two things she couldn't before the surgery. Her message to the anonymous donor is thank you for saving her life, along with five others and of course Tom who now has his wife back.
"It's improving her, my wife's life and my life," Tom said.
"I've been praying for a long time that something good would come out of the nightmare and it has," Angela said.