The pair first met in a London club in the mid-1990s and were attracted to each other. Both remained close throughout the years. Photo: AFP (Representational)
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NEW DELHI: A man in London saved the life of the woman he loved for over two decades by donating his kidney but she refused to accept his marriage proposal.
49-year-old Simon Louis didn't expect the response he got when he proposed Mary Emmanuelle, 41, who was suffering from last-stage kidney disease and was in coma before the transplant was done.
The pair first met in a London club in the 90s and were attracted to each other. Both remained close throughout the years.
Then in September 2014 Mary once collapsed at home and was rushed to a hospital in South London. After spending two months in intensive care unit, she was told she had end-stage kidney disease and that she only had 'months to live'.
The only hope she had was to undergo a transplant but as she had rare B negative blood group, chances that she would find a donor in future reduced.
“I couldn’t believe it – I had been given a death sentence. My name was put on a ‘dead donor’ list. I could only wait," Mirror UK quoted her as saying.
Although Mary was discharged from hospital in 2015, she had to return daily to undergo kidney dialysis. It was Simon who used to visit and look after her during her tough times. He also helped to dress, bathe and feed her when she needed it.
The pair also went on a holiday to Spain but their vacation was cut short as they received a call that a donor for Mary was found. But by the time they reached the UK, the kidney was given to someone else.
It was then Simon thought of getting himself tested to see if he was a match as a donor. And it turned out that he was and thus offered to donate his kidney to Mary.
Months after the pair recovered from their surgeries, Simon gathered the courage to propose Mary and tell her what he felt for her.
Mary said she felt incredibly flattered that he wanted to marry her after seeing her at "absolute worst".
"But I let him down gently by saying I'd have to think about it. I think I'd worry if we got married it would in some way damage our special friendship and also I don't want to get wed until I'm fully better health-wise," Mirror quoted Mary as saying.
Simon said he had no regrets about donating his kidney.
"I didn't think twice about it. There's no question about doing something like that for someone you love," he said.