London - Most couples demonstrate their love on February 14 with flowers or chocolates.
Some push the boat out with a romantic meal, or even a night at the theatre.
But these five men and women have offered the ultimate loving gesture – the gift of life. In providing their partner with a kidney or parts of their liver, each sacrifice has enabled their loved ones to live full and active lives again after serious illness.
I’D DO SAME FOR HER
Michele Johnson, 53, has been married to Gav, 57, for 16 years.
With her husband suffering from a a congenital kidney condition, in 2013 Michele, an admin worker from Gateshead, gave him one of hers. Gav said: "I needed to be hooked up to a dialysis machine. I had no quality of life at all. I felt great as soon as I woke up [after the op]. I told her I’d do the same for her. And I mean it. She’s given me my life back."
I LOVE BRENDA TO BITS
Brenda Green, 62, met her husband Keith, 63, when she was 14 and they married six years later.
When Brenda was told five years ago she needed a kidney transplant following renal damage after her pregnancy, Keith, a retired BT engineer, stepped in. Brenda, from Leicestershire, said: "I came home crying and told Keith. He said 'I’ll give you mine'."
Keith said: "Brenda is my wife and I love her to bits. I said: 'In sickness and in health' when we got married – I meant it!"
I DON’T THINK I CAN THANK HIM ENOUGH
Lorna Tong, 36, from York, met her husband James, 39, when she was a student.
James, a sales manager, gave part of his liver to hospital worker Lorna last year when an auto-immune disease attacked it.
Lorna said: "I was told that I’d eventually need a liver transplant. I was put on the national organ donor list, but we didn’t know how long we’d have to wait."
James offered to become her donor and the operation was hailed a success.
Lorna said: "I don’t think I can ever thank James enough for what he’s done. I never doubted he loved me but it’s still a lovely sign."
James said: "I don’t think of myself as a hero. I wanted Lorna to get better so we could have our lives back. And we have."
DECISION WAS EASY
Anna Stevens, 44, and husband Gary, 53, of Watford, Herts, have been wed for 23 years.
Anna donated a kidney to her husband. She said of the transplant: "It was the easiest decision I’ve ever made. I wanted us to have our lives back." Gary said: I would have died without her – she put her life at risk for mine.
"There’s only two words that I can use to describe her: 'My angel.'"
MY WIFE’S MY HERO
Stephen Heavyside, 61, and wife Patricia, 62, from Barrow, Cumbria have been married for 40 years.
Stephen said: "I was diagnosed with adult polycystic kidney disease at 17. It killed my mum and grandmother. Five years ago, my kidney function had started to drop to 28 per cent and I was taking nearly 30 tablets a day."
He said Patricia’s gift of a kidney "changed my life".
Stephen added: "This has brought us even closer. She is my hero."Daily Mail