Husband giving wife ‘gift of life’ for their 20th anniversary — a kidney

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Photo: WTKR

SUFFOLK, Va. — A husband is preparing to give his wife the gift of life the day before their 20th wedding anniversary. Scott Chafian is donating a kidney to his wife, Cindy in an operation scheduled for January 24, reports CBS Norfolk, Virginia affiliate WTKR-TV.

Simple actions such as cooking dinner or going out to Busch Gardens are hard or impossible for Cindy now due to polycystic kidney disease, with which she was diagnosed in her 20s. It’s a disease in which excessive cyst growth shuts down kidneys.

“It is very difficult. When I started out, I wanted to do home dialysis. Peritoneal, where I had a little bit more control. I’ve been through two years of one surgery after another,” said Cindy.

Scott said watching his wife get increasingly sicker as she grew older was tough. “It’s devastating because, of course, you always see your spouse before you and to not have anything, it was just a feeling of helplessness.”

So Scott took action to help his wife the only way he knew he could: by donating his kidney.

He remembers when their doctor told him it would work.

“’Did you just say I’m a match to my wife and this is going to work?’ And it was and for me such a wonderful experience to have this opportunity to something for the person I love more than anybody,” said Scott.

That was six years ago. But Cindy wasn’t ready. She told Scott she wasn’t going to take his kidney.

Then, in 2016, Cindy’s health took a turn for the worse.

“I hit kind of rock bottom and I looked at him and I said, “’OK, I’m ready,”’ she recalled.

The Chafians learned the date of their transplant surgery five days before Christmas.

“He called me and he told me that everything was a go. He gave me a date and that was the first time I allowed myself any emotion — and I actually cried,” said Cindy.

Scott believes fate brought them to this point and it’s time.

“To know that he’s kind of giving me that ability (to go on living) is even more of an amazing gift. He powers me in so many ways, but this is definitely … he is literally going to give me life. So it’s an amazing gift,” said Cindy.

Now she is focused on raising funds for their surgery through their GoFundMe campaign and helping to raise awareness about living donors.