Stranger's gift leads to a love story - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Stranger's gift leads to a love story

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(CBS News) (CBS News)
(CBS NEWS) -

There’re always a lot of people to thank on a wedding day – but the bride-to-be in Chicago had one person to thank over all others – a total stranger – who made this possible.

A few years ago, out of the blue, 27-year-old Heather Krueger was diagnosed with stage 4 liver disease.  Doctors said she had just a few months to live.

“They immediately told me I was going to need a transplant,” Krueger said.

Enter our hero. Chris Dempsey is a code enforcement officer for the village of Frankfort, Illinois, and said he was in the break room one day when he overheard a guy talking about a woman who needed a liver donor.

“I spent 4 years in the Marine Corps and learned there never to run away from anything.  So I just said to myself, ‘Hey, if I can help, I’m going to help’,” Dempsey said.

He had never met Krueger, but got tested to see if he was compatible.

When he found out he was – that’s when they finally met for the first time.

“We had lunch together – discussed what the whole process was going to be,” Krueger said.

Not long after, they checked into the University of Illinois Hospital.

The transplant, which involves removing about half the donor’s liver, went off without a hitch.  Afterward, Chris and Heather remained close – they got so close, in fact, he was at her wedding last weekend.

He had to be, really…he was the groom.

And so it was, that year and half after giving her part of his liver – she gave him, all her heart.

“You are the most incredible man I have ever known. You believe in me and you make me feel amazing every single day. Because of you, I laugh, smile, and dare to dream again,” Krueger said to Dempsey on their wedding day.

Acts of great kindness are done without expectation. When Chris decided to give an organ to random stranger he had no idea he was saving his own wife. 

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