Woman donates kidney to ex-husband 20 years after divorce

Mary Zeigler donated a kidney to her ex-husband Bill Henrichs 20 years after the pair split up. (FOX 9)

(FOX NEWS) -- Former childhood sweethearts, whose fairy tale ended 20 years ago after 24 years of marriage and two children, still fulfilled their promises of “in sickness and in health” after Mary Zeigler provided her ex-husband Bill Henrichs with a kidney.

The pair, who first met at 14 and later wed at 18, said it remained cordial over the years for the sake of its children, ages 8 and 5 at the time of the divorce, and stayed close even after Henrichs remarried a few years later.

“It’s kind of an unusual story,” Mary Zeigler, 62, told FOX 9.

In February, Henrichs, who is now married to wife Linda, learned he needed a kidney, and Zeigler quickly stepped forward.

“You know for me, it wasn’t even a decision,” she said. “You know it was kind of like him calling up and saying, ‘Can you come over and help us rake leaves.’ That’s how I think of it.”

Ziegler spent the month prior to her transplant operation eating clean and drinking water.

“The doctor did say it was an excellent kidney when I woke up,” Henrichs said.

The former couple's children love sharing their parents' story. Henrichs and Ziegler hope it inspires other exes out there.

“If this story changes one person’s actions or attitude towards their ex, it’ll be all worth it,” Zeigler said.