He donated part of his liver to a stranger. Then he fell in love with her.

Washington Post | Courtney Keepers
After meeting through a liver transplant, Heather Krueger and Chris Dempsey plan to marry in October. Photo courtesy of Heather Krueger

The heart is certainly the organ most likely to be associated with love, but for one Illinois couple, their whirlwind romance began in the liver.

Heather Krueger and Chris Dempsey first met when Dempsey was found to be a match to donate part of his liver to Krueger. Fast forward a year and the two are now engaged to be married.

It all began in early 2014 when Krueger, a Tinley Park, Ill. native, knew something wasn’t quite right with her body. She was achy, her side hurt and she lacked the ability to concentrate.

A trip to the emergency room and rounds of testing revealed Krueger, now 26, had stage four liver disease and doctors advised her to begin searching for a living donor.

“They didn’t think I had much time left. I didn’t have many cells left in my liver that were functioning,” she said. “But from that point forward it never crossed my mind that I was going to die. I just made it up in my mind that I was going to fight.” Continue reading
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