“I wasn’t prepared to let my children be without a father.”
Dan Pyatt and Kelly Hope had already been divorced for five years when, despite their separation, Kelly gave a great lesson of love to her family. When she found out that her ex, Dan, needed a kidney transplant to stay alive, Kelly decided to offer herself as a donor.
At Guy’s Hospital in London, the doctors couldn’t believe what they were hearing. Never before had they seen anyone offer to donate a kidney to their ex-spouse.
Dan and Kelly have two daughters, Jeanie (11) and Billie (16), and Kelly said that she was willing to donate one of her kidneys for their sake. “Even though we weren’t together anymore, I wasn’t prepared to let my children be without a father,” she told reporter Dawn Collinson of The Mirror (whose article is the source for the quotes in this article).
The hospital had been searching for a kidney for Dan for 12 months, and hadn’t found a compatible donor. Kelly, however, after undergoing the necessary tests, showed some hope of being a successful donor, even though their blood types were incompatible.
In 2018, Dan and Kelly underwent their respective operations. The surgery was a success, and both are currently in good health.
Kelly has been in the media spotlight because of her exemplary behavior towards Dan and their children.
Keeping the family united
Kelly explains, “We might not be married now, but we’re still very much a family and I had to make that sacrifice to keep our family together.”
Kelly and Dan had been friends since they were 11 years old; they started dating at the age of 18, and married at 31. Despite their breakup, they’re still friends today.
Kelly had been aware of Dan’s medical situation for a long time because shortly after they were married he was diagnosed with an incurable kidney disease. The doctors warned at that point that within 10 years he was going to need a transplant to save his life.
A family Christmas trip
Over the years, Dan and Kelly drifted apart due to a variety of factors, including work schedules and personal priorities, and the situation at home became unhealthy for all of them, including the children, which led the couple to think that the best thing was to separate.
The kidney transplant has strengthened their bond. They also continue to believe that the most important thing for them is the happiness and stability of their daughters. In that light, they celebrated the success of Dan’s transplant by taking a family vacation with their daughters to Paris for Christmas. “Everyone says to us, ‘Surely you’ll get back together now?’ But it’s brought us closer in a different way,” Kelly says.
Whether or not they get back together, Kelly has given abundantly clear signs of her love for Dan. He says: “It was truly a selfless act; to put your own life on the line to save someone else is amazing. Kelly will always be my hero.”
Support Aleteia! It only takes a minute.
If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.
Here are some numbers:
- 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
- Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
- Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
- Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
- Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
- We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)
As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.
Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!