Reporting John Lauritsen
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A lot of us spent Valentine’s Day around people we care about. It was the same for a Sartell couple, but instead of having a nice dinner, they were in the hospital.
Amy Anderson and Ron Spanier’s story really began in 2009, when the couple met on eHarmony.
Amy’s first husband had died from a stroke and Ron made it known from the start that his own health was getting worse. He needed a kidney to survive.
“We knew that it was a for sure thing this last September, right before we had the baby,” said Amy.
Just before Halloween, Amy gave birth to the couple’s son Luke. Right after Christmas, Ron proposed.
And for Valentine’s Day — a new kidney.
“The joke is that last year I got pregnant for his birthday and Valentine’s Day and this year I gave him my kidney. So I think I’m in trouble next year,” said Amy.
Two of Ron’s other siblings and his mother had the same disease, but found matches. Ron’s condition was getting worse before the couple realized last year that their online match had turned into a donor match.
“Amy said she wanted to do it and she wasn’t going to take ‘no’ for an answer. And it turns out she was the best match. I owe her a lot,” said Ron.
Instead of eating chocolates for Valentine’s Day, Ron and Amy spent it on a liquid diet as they prepared for surgery.
The next morning, Ron got his new kidney and Amy got the reassurance that the man who will someday be her husband, will be around for many Valentine’s Days to come.
“I couldn’t imagine not doing this. I think I said earlier it was a no-brainer that I would do this for him,” said Amy.
The couple is recovering at University of Minesota Medical Center and may be able to go home on Sunday. Right now, Ron is still on a liquid diet, but hopes to eat solid foods Thursday night for the first time since the surgery. He says it’s the best he’s felt in three years.
As far as a wedding date goes, the couple hasn’t set one yet. They are just excited to being able to concentrate on that instead of Ron’s health.