kidneyheart.jpgA 23-year-old Queens woman was saved from a disease that was destroying her kidneys by a most-willing donor: her fiancé. Jarena Bates and Tye Johnson met when Johnson was delivering a couch in Queens and Bates answered the door. They began dating soon after and have been together for five years, getting engaged in January. Bates, who was diagnosed with a kidney disorder when she was 14 years old was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome shortly after she and Johnson got engaged and was hospitalized in May when she went into kidney failure.

According to the Daily News, Bates was not on a donor's waiting list and had refused dialysis because family members were willing to step up as possible donor candidates. In July, Johnson was driving his fiancée and some of her family members to the hospital to be tested for donor compatibility. In what Johnson described as a lark, he got himself tested and proved to be a perfect match.

The kidney transplant operation took place Monday at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, Long Island, and doctors described it as successful. The Daily News quotes transplant surgeon Dr. Ernesto Molmenti, who equated the couple to a famous literary pair. "They had matching blood types and genetics. Their story is better than that of Romeo and Juliet." We should certainly hope so, as that story ends with a double suicide.

And unlike yesterday's squabbling former almost-weds who are arguing over who gets to have the engagement ring, we're sure that kidney donations are for keeps. Johnson and Bates have rescheduled their wedding for October 15 of next year to mark the one-year anniversary of the transplant.