Husband donates kidney to wife of 23 years: ‘I felt like I won the lottery’

A husband celebrating his 23rd wedding anniversary gave his wife a life-saving gift: a kidney.

With it, Cesar Calle gave his wife Monica a life free of painful dialysis treatment, which she needed for polycystic kidney disease she had been fighting for a decade, the Sun Sentinel reported.

The couple spoke about the five-hour surgery during a press conference from Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., where the surgery was performed on Feb. 19.

“I feel like a million dollars,” Monica said, three weeks after the transplant. “And I think I look like a million bucks, compared to before.”


Monica, a Memorial Regional Hospital employee who schedules patients’ surgeries there, described her three-year journey.

“I was in a lot of pain, I was scared,” she said, “and I didn’t know if there was gonna be a miracle for me.”

Monica added, “I’m sure a lot of us that are in this situation always wonder, ‘When is our miracle happening?’ And I tell everybody, ‘Just hang on tight, fight your fight, because we are warriors, and your miracle will happen.’”

Selflessly, her husband Cesar offered to donate one of his kidney’s to his wife, and in Decembe the couple got word that her husband Cesar was a match.

Dr. Juan Arenas, a surgeon and chief of the hospital’s Memorial Transplant Institute said, “To find a match between spouses is very unusual but very lucky for us to be able to find that.”


According to the Sun Sentinel, Cesar said, “For me to do this, it was big. I was shocked. [I thought] it’s not real, this is not happening.”

As she celebrates her wedding anniversary, Monica reflected, “Little did we know 23 years ago that this was going to be the angel to save my life.”  

The 39-year-old said, “I felt like I just won the lottery. I started dreaming of what my future would look like, not having to do dialysis. The fact that I can actually travel now and not worry about carrying boxes with me or supplies, or worry if it’s gonna get lost. I felt so free.”

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