DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - Leslie and Terry Dickey have been married for 25 years, and they've been together for nearly 30.
"I saw her picture, and I was like I want to meet this girl," said Terry.
Unfortunately, their first meeting at a friend's movie night as teenagers didn't go as planned. Leslie came down with the flu, but Terry just started taking care of her, swapping out cool rags on her fevered forehead. That would wind up being their relationship, taking turns taking care of each other. Then, doctors diagnosed Terry with polycystic kidney disease, a disease that killed his grandfather.
"I had high blood pressure at a young age. Come to find out it was because of my kidneys. Later, they found out that I had a kidney disease and it's progressively gotten worse," said Terry.
About two years ago, things got bad enough that doctors told Terry he needed a kidney transplant, and he was put on a waiting list. Currently, his kidney function is less than 10 percent.
"We always have to be like, 'Lord, we know that you're going to work it all out, but how are you going to do this,'" said Leslie.
The answer to their prayers would come through a slight misunderstanding. Terry believed all his life he was blood type O, because it was something he'd always been told by family. Then, a year and a half after being on the transplant list, he got some surprising news. During a checkup appointment, a nurse mentioned that Terry is actually blood type A.
That's when the full plan Leslie had been praying for revealed itself. Leslie, turns out, is also blood type A. "It hit me all the sudden," said Leslie. "I can give you my kidney."
At first, Terry says he didn't want his wife to give him a kidney. He didn't want to put her at risk. "To me it was kind of natural. I had always taken care of him, so this was just, it was like another way of taking care of him," said Leslie.
She started the process of testing for a match anyway. When the results came back, doctors told Leslie she was a near perfect match for her husband. She recorded the moment she surprised Terry with the news.
"Twenty-five years ago, I gave you my heart," she told him. "Now, I get to give you my kidney."
"I'm ready to start feeling better. I hate that she has to go through this, but I thank the Lord that he's working it all out. I thank her," said Terry.
The Dickeys expect the surgery to take place before the New Year.