Georgia woman gives husband a kidney for Valentine's Day
ATLANTA - Hours before dawn, on the eve of Valentine's Day at Emory University Hospital, Michael and Kerrie Poirot are ready for the next big chapter in their love story.
"I'm just ready to get on, it's all moving so fast, which I think is a good thing," Kerrie Poirot says. "Because I'm really nervous."
Seven years after Kerrie gave Michael her heart, she's giving him a kidney.
"It's an amazing Valentine's gift," Michael Poirot says. "I never even though this would be possible."
To Kerrie, this moment seems "incredible."
"I don't even know how to put it in words," she says. "But I'm just glad I can do it. Help him. Give him a second chance at life."
Michael, now 46, was born with polycystic kidney disease, which runs in his family.
And the Poirots have known since long before they married and blended their family of 7 that this day was coming.
What they didn't know back then is Kerrie would be the donor match Michael needed all along.
"To have a piece of her with me at all times, it's scary, but real," Michael Poirot says. " It's getting real, real fast."
"I mean that's love, that's beautiful," says transplant surgeon Dr. Christian Larsen.
In the last 25 years, he's watched what a kidney transplant means to recipients like Michael.
"(I've been) watching them thrive, and have a life that I know would have been very different without a transplant," Larsen says.
Kerrie's surgeon, Dr. Nicole Turgeon, says she's most humbled by the living donors, like Kerrie, who give just because they can.
"They're selfless," Dr. Turgeon says. "They give an organ. They undergo surgery that the wouldn't otherwise have to have."
Waiting for her turn to go into the operation room, Kerrie is overcome by emotion, knowing what this day means for their family.
"It's a good thing," she says. "I'm very excited I'll be glad to wake up this afternoon and hear that it's working. That will be the best present for me."
After a quick good-bye, Kerrie is rolled back into the OR.
And then, a few minutes later, it's Michael turn.
The moment he's waited years for -- is finally here.
"It's a just a new outlook, a new everything," he says. "Just going to be a new normal."
A "normal," both Poirots hope will be better than they ever could have imagined.