By Debbi Kim, WBZ-TV

BURLINGTON (CBS) — They were married two years ago and now an Essex woman is giving her husband the ultimate gift this holiday season — the gift of life.

She just donated part of her liver so her husband could get a life-saving transplant at Lahey Clinic.

Paul and Lisa Sullivan always thought they were the perfect match. But they never dreamed they’d be a life-saving one. Paul says, “She saved my life I’m very lucky.”

WBZ-TV’s Kate Merrill reports.

Paul almost lost his arm in a motorcycle crash 27 years ago and needed 49 pints of blood. But he got Hepatitis C through one of those transfusions, and that gradually destroyed his liver.

Paul explains, “It’s been gnawing away at my liver and I started feeling bad and then I found out I needed a donor.”

And incredibly, it turns out that Paul’s wife, Lisa, was a perfect match. Paul says, “She knew she was, so I said go get tested. And she was. I couldn’t believe it.”

So this week, Lisa gave her husband the ultimate gift. She donated a portion of her liver to her husband at Lahey Clinic. Paul says, “She gave me my life back. So she gets flowers every Friday.”

Lisa’s daughter, Kayla, says her mom is an inspiration to her. “I think she’s the most amazing person. That’s true love it takes a lot of courage to give your liver to her husband.”

And ironically, two of the surgeons who performed the transplant are also married.

Dr. Elizabeth Pomfret of Lahey Clinic says, “All of the donors who give so selflessly are really an inspiration, especially at this time of year.”

It’s expected to take several weeks for the Sullivans to recover and they won’t be able to work for several months. So their friends are holding a Christmas benefit party in their honor at the Italian Community Center on Rantoul Street in Beverly Saturday, December 18 from 7 p.m. to midnight.

Donations can also be sent to the Beverly Cooperative Bank.

The Sullivans hope their story will help inspire others to become organ donors.

Comments (3)
  1. peggy says:

    I have know people who donate organs to family members, because they love them so very much! Ballerina you are cold as it is out today! You may never love enough or see a child who needs help! Take care or yourself. As for everybody else There IS HOPE!
    Sweet Happy Holidy Season All-Stay Safe!

    1. peggy says:

      I forgot to wish you both the best of helth and long Happy Marriage!

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