BALDWIN, Long Island (WABC) -- A married couple on Long Island will soon have a Valentine's Day that they will forever cherish, after the husband donated part of his liver to his wife, saving her life.
Lauren Toby says she couldn't love her husband, DJ Toby, more, and it's easy to see why.
The love they share is apparent, especially in their 2-year-old son Donovan.
Both DJ and Lauren Toby are only two weeks out now from major surgery. DJ just donated 35% of his liver to his wife.
"It already started growing back, they said," DJ said.
Lauren, 36, has a rare and life-threatening liver disorder, known as PSC. It causes inflammation in the bile ducts.
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"And then eventually over time, they become so inflamed, they start to scar and close," she said.
They decided the time to do something about it was now. Lauren's symptoms were progressing, but were not severe enough to be towards the top of the wait list.
Their medical team told Eyewitness News reporter Stacey Sager that their case is a perfect example of why live transplant donors matter so much.
"If only a tiny fraction of us were willing to be living donors, we would not have any wait for people who need a kidney or a liver," said Dr. Benjamin Samstein of NY-Presbyterian Weill Cornell.
The recovery time is only four to six weeks, and the chance of finding a live match is around 80%. You just need to be blood group compatible. DJ and Lauren were.
"He really has always been my sweetheart even before I knew it," Lauren Toby said.
So, forget the chocolate and flowers this Valentine's Day, this family has something far more beautiful.
"It's the greatest act of love that could possibly exist," she said.
This family has every reason to keep living and loving.
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