Wife gives husband kidney for transplant as Valentine's gift

Man suffering from Stage 5 kidney failure saved by wife

ORLANDO, Fla. - A Lake Mary couple is spending their first Valentine's Day married at Florida Hospital after the wife donated her kidney to her husband.

James Jones, 46, received a kidney from his wife, Melissa DeGeso-Jones, in a transplant on Monday. The couple has only been married for four months, and Melissa saved her husband from Stage 5 kidney failure.

Melissa says she didn't think twice.

"I don't understand the question, that's the part that stumps me... we're married.. this is our life, this is the rest of our life," said Melissa DeGeso-Jones. "There wouldn't be an us without him, so it has to happen," she said.

Dr. Michael Angelis and Dr. Giri Vedula led the transplant team that performed Monday's surgeries and they say patients who have a "living donor" enjoy higher success rates.

"In this case they were compatible and are now immunologically compatible, which is what makes this a unique story and a beautiful story," said Vedula.

The doctors say the kidney could last James the rest of his life.

"She's willing to donate her kidney to him and most of us get flowers or chocolate for Valentine's Day," said Angelis.

Jones said he and his wife will be in the hospital recovering, on Valentine's Day and he says he got the best gift.

"How do you top the kidney, you know, what do I get my wife? It will be a life-long endeavor to try and top this, but she is definitely my hero," he said.

Melissa will be going home on Thursday and James will be released Friday.

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