DENVER (KDVR) — The United States just hit the mark of 1 million transplants performed. Health officials say it’s a historic milestone.

A local nurse said donating an organ is the definition of selfless. You could say a Denver man fits that script.

John Stathas donated his kidney to his wife, Megan, shortly after they got married.

“She already has my heart. What’s a kidney?” he said.

Shock and fear after a kidney failure diagnosis

Megan was shocked to be diagnosed with Stage 4 kidney failure in June 2019. Her husband said after the initial fear, he wanted to know how he could help. He began testing and found out he was a donor match.

“Contrary to the Hollywood scene, we’re not like in a bed next to each other in the same room,” John said.

In August 2020, John donated his kidney to his wife. The surgery was done at Presbyterian St. Luke’s Transplant Center, where nearly 2,000 kidney transplants have been performed. The couple said the surgery went seamlessly for them both.

Now the couple has a 6-week-old baby girl. Megan had to wait a year to get pregnant to make sure the kidney was functioning properly.

“They just recently had a baby girl and that’s something they talked about from the very beginning of wanting to start a family and not sure that was going to happen because what Megan was going through. With John being able to give his wife the gift of life, and her then bring in new life into the world, it’s come full circle,” said Christine Opp, living kidney donor coordinator at Presbyterian St. Luke’s.

Megan said she is extremely grateful to her husband and now, they are focusing on being new parents.