Phoenix couple celebrates Valentine's Day and a successful kidney transplant

A Valley wife will be celebrating more than Valentine’s Day this weekend with her husband as his long battle with kidney failure is finally over.

It's been five months of a new way of life for Damian Paige after receiving a kidney transplant. "I felt very fortunate," he said after receiving a kidney transplant at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix.

His journey started back in the '90s when he became a kidney donor for his friend, never thinking he would need one himself.

After he was diagnosed with kidney failure, he said, "It was something in my life I had to deal with and I was prepared to fight for it."

His transplant coordinator said he fought with a positive attitude while he lost weight and was on dialysis for 18 months. Then, he found a match.

"As far as a match is concerned, we start with a blood type that they have and antibodies and antigens have to match up too," said Gabriel Quiroz, transplant coordinator and registered nurse.

The hardest part for Damian’s wife, Lisa Paige, was not being able to be with him at all times in the hospital because of COVID-19 precautions. "When he got the kidney, I was happy but also scared because that is a major surgery and I want my husband around," she said.

Now, this Valentine's Day, they get to celebrate, spend another day of love healthy and together. "We are like two bookends. We support each other and hold each other up," Damian said.

Damian was the 100th kidney transplant recipient at the hospital.

Hundreds of thousands of people are on the waitlist to find a match and more information can be found here