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Husband receives kidney, calls it a Christmas miracle

Posted at 6:11 PM, Dec 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-23 21:15:54-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV)- One San Diego father says he received the gift of life for Christmas. Manuel Lucero needed a kidney, but he didn’t have to search far to find his perfect match.

Back in May, the father of seven had the scare of his life.

“I went to the doctors, and they told me I had a stroke,” says Lucero. “ “I found out I had diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney failure.”

Lucero says the doctors told him he would only have five years to live unless he had a new kidney.

RELATED: San Diego baby born with no kidneys celebrates first Christmas outside of NICU

“It hurt for about a minute, then I remembered I go to church,” says Lucero. “I believe in God. I said he has it all under control.”

His teenage sweetheart and wife of 19 years found out she was a perfect match. But with their children on his mind, Lucero had doubts about letting his wife go through with the surgery.

“He said, are you sure you want to put your body through this, and I said ill do anything for you,” says Karla Lucero. She says she told her husband, “I love you. You’ve been the love of my life forever. Why wouldn’t I do this.”

“I was actually thinking if something happened, I didn’t want my kids to hate Christmas,” says Manuel Lucero.

RELATED: Family sees organ donation as their calling after son undergoes heart and kidney transplants

His wife says she is using this experience to teach their kids about the importance of marriage.

“A lot of people take marriage very lightly,” says Karla Lucero. “I told him through sickness, and in health, I’m there for you.”

The couple says Manuel receiving the gift of life has been a miracle. They will be enjoying Christmas at home with their kids, and the children will be doing the cooking for mom and dad.