MANHASSET, N.Y. (FOX 5 NY) - It was the ultimate Valentine's Day gift that you just can't put a price tag on. Almost 16 years after Jacqueline gave Vinny Streffacio her heart and hand in marriage, last month she gave him a kidney.
"I can tell her every day I love her, can give her gifts, everything that I have and it still wouldn't make up for what she's done for me," Lindenhurst resident Vinny said.
"When we took those vows 16 years ago in sickness and in health, good times and in bad, there was no doubt in my mind I wouldn't do this for him and my two daughters," Jacqueline said.
Vinny was diagnosed with renal failure two years ago. He relied on dialysis three times a week to survive.
"It's not a fun thing being stuck with needles every other day, sitting in a chair for four hours, being in pain every day I don't wish it on anybody," Vinny said.
When doctors told him a kidney transplant would give him a second chance at life, Jacqueline didn't think twice before checking to see if she was a match.
"We know that outcomes of living donor transplantation especially compared to outcomes on dialysis are lifesaving," said Dr. Elliot Grodstein with Northwell Health. "There's certainly a survival benefit to it."
In the United States, more than 115,000 people waiting for transplants. Doctors at North Shore University Hospital performed just over 100 kidney transplants last year alone.
"I was in pain every single day," Vinny said. "My joints hurt every day and as soon as I got the kidney all of that disappeared. It was truly a miracle."
And less pain means spending more time with his daughter's Isabella and Giovanna who say they're relieved.
Doctors say not only did Vinny increase his life expectancy but his quality of life will overall be better.