‘She’S My Hero And She Saved My Life’: High School Sweethearts Now Share A Kidney

More than 100,000 Americans are currently awaiting life-saving organ transplants. In a heartwarming story, Rob and Nikki Galler exemplify the true meaning of “in sickness and in health.” Rob’s health took a drastic turn about a year ago when his kidneys began to fail, leaving him struggling to breathe and sleep due to excess water weight. Determined to save her husband’s life, Nikki underwent testing and, on March 14th, 2024, became Rob’s kidney donor. The couple’s journey began in high school, where they first met, and has now led them to become each other’s life-saving partners.

Hailing from Mohamed in Central Illinois, the Gallers traveled three hours to Barnes Jewish Hospital for Rob’s transplant surgery. This hospital boasts the 16th largest kidney transplant program in the nation, performing 330 kidney transplants last year alone. While parent-child matches are more common due to shared blood types, spousal transplants like the Gallers’ are not unheard of, according to Dr. Henry Randall, director of the transplant center at SSM Health St Louis University Hospital. Thanks to advancements in medical technology, such transplants are made possible with powerful immunosuppressing drugs.

Rob expresses immense gratitude towards Nikki, stating that she gave him her heart 32 years ago and has now saved his life by giving him her kidney. As Rob continues his road to recovery, he looks forward to returning to work and coaching football in the fall, supported by Nikki and their three athletic children. Their story serves as an inspiration, highlighting the profound impact of love, selflessness, and the life-saving potential of organ donation. For those interested in becoming organ donors or joining the National Organ List, further information can be found on ksdk.com.


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