Ex-Wife Donates Kidney to Ex-Husband 20 Years After Divorce

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A nice story to start the new year:
Former high school sweethearts, who met when they were 14 and married at 18, divorced 20 years ago after 24 years of marriage and 2 children. But the story doesn’t end there.

The children were 5 and 8 at the time of the divorce, and for the sake of the children, the ex-spouses stayed close over the years, even when one of the ex-spouses remarried.

Zeigler (the ex-wife) and Henrichs (the ex-husband) help care for their daughter’s two children. “We talk to each other several times a week,” she said.

In February 2018, Henrichs (the ex-husband) discovered he needed a kidney, and Ziegler (the ex-wife) quickly stepped in.
When Henrich’s kidney problems worsened, and he was in line for a transplant, she knew all about it. Some 30 people were tested as donors, and none were a good match. Zeigler knew her blood type was O, meaning she was a universal donor.

Henrich’s kidney problems worsened, and he was in line for a transplant. Many other people were tested as donors, but none of them were a good match. Fortunately, Zeigler was a match for him.

“How could I not?” she said. The tests were done to confirm she was a match, and in October, Zeigler and Henrichs were wheeled into surgery – Zeigler giving Henrichs one of her kidneys.

At the suggestion of a work colleague, she has been speaking publicly about her kidney donation with the hope that telling her story can inspire people to be more civil with each other.
Without that civility, a divorcing couple will harm their children for the rest of their lives. “If this story changes one person’s actions or attitude towards their ex, it’ll be all worth it,” Zeigler said.

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