Tampa Bay Area Couple Celebrates Day Wife Donated Kidney To Husband

A Tampa Bay couple says every day is Valentine’s Day for them. But February 14th is a reminder of how an organ donation helped keep their love alive. 10 Tampa Bay’s Andalusia Bruton spoke to the couple about why they not only celebrate Valentine’s Day but National Donors Day as well.

This is my little rock star every other week. Ray and Laurie Rodriguez visit the beach to reflect on how far they’ve come. The couple fell in love over 40 years ago, her nickname was chili pepper. She’s my little chili pepper. The two got engaged on Valentine’s Day and were married.

Six months later, we traveled around the country. The Rodriguez is renewing their vows 20 years later, like true rock stars. We flew to Vegas. They say the key to a happy marriage is remembering your house through sickness and in health, she donated her kidney to me and saved my life.

Laurie says there was no doubt in her mind about donating. I saw what he went through on dialysis three days a week in center, four hours each day. She was there for him then and 18 years later, when he needed another transplant. This time he was added to a waiting list.

The couple made billboards and posters begging for a donor right now. There’s currently over 100,000 nationwide and we need to get more people transplanted. So the 100 in Florida Alone Life Link Foundation says there are several misconceptions when it comes to donating that contribute to the wait list.

It’s actually very rare to be an organ donor because you have to pass away in such a specific manner, um which really is by brain death in a hospital setting. Rodriguez was on the wait list for five years until a donor heard his call on a podcast.

One condition is that we had to remain friends. So that’s a love story in itself. This donation giving him more time with his life partner. Now, the couple is encouraging others to do the same. You never know, you never know whose life you can save or improve their quality of life.

Inia Bruton, 10, Tampa Bay and Laurie. Thanks for sharing your story here. Life link says there’s not an age limit on when you can become a donor. You can also sign up to be a living donor for certain organs to register. You can visit donate life

Florida.org or register when you’re obtaining or renewing your license.

Help improve our content system

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

Share this story:

Transplant News
Transplant News

Transplant News brings you the news and content that matters to the transplant community. From patient stories, to the latest in transplant innovation, Transplant News is your window into the world of transplantation.