In what is one of the more heartwarming stories of internet notoriety, an Australian woman went viral after donating a kidney to her boyfriend. According to her Reddit post, 28-year-old Rebecca Robinson’s boyfriend, Tristan Reid, has been suffering from nephropathy, a kidney condition caused by diabetes that made his kidneys to fail.
In a Skype interview with Mic, Robinson said of her boyfriend: “He has IgA nephropathy [a.k.a. Berger’s disease], which caused kidney failure about two years ago. He let me know (about his condition) on the second date. I have a very close friend with kidney failure, so I was familiar with it.”
While Robinson revealed that their year-long relationship has involved lots of health complications, she said through all of the struggles, she always felt supported. She believes they have an equal partnership and said Reid has been there through her personal anxieties. While speaking of the ways in which they have emotionally sustained each other, Robinson shared during her Skype interview: “He just hugged me and listened and was so perfectly there for me. All his friends and family say he’s in better shape than he has been for years, and I know I am as well.”
The couple moved in together earlier this year, before Robinson revealed that she planned to give Reid her kidney.
“I initially decided to look into it properly when I realized I loved him,” Robinson shared during her Mic interview. “I did a bunch of online research, and was on holiday by myself for 5 weeks overseas, and took that solo time to consider it properly and get a bit of breathing room. We moved in together and I told him I’d decided I wanted to be tested for donation.”
Apparently, the average wait time for a kidney donor is more than three and a half years, so when Robinson and her boyfriend only had to go through a few months of medical tests before undergoing the transplant, they were living the dream. According to the National Kidney Registry live kidney donors are a healthier match for recipients than kidneys donated from deceased donors because they tend to last longer.
After reading the couple’s story, many people have made jokes about how “he better not dump her” and this means they’ll be physically bound forever, which have been received gracefully. However, Robinson made sure to note that her donation isn’t a declaration of lifelong loyalty.
“Nothing lasts forever and we will likely separate at some point,” she told Mic. “But I’ve still given something that basically saves a life, and that’s not something to regret. The bond it makes is bigger and stronger than the temporary [health] dip.”
No matter how you slice it, that’s pretty wonderful all around.
Original by Bronwyn Isaac