When mary Zeigler and Bill Henrichs got married at 18, they vowed to be there for each other in sickness and in health. It was a vow that would still apply 20 years after they’d divorced.
Zeigler and Henrichs met at 14 and had only ever dated each other by the time they tied the knot. For a couple who had married so young, it’s no surprise that the two grew apart by the time they reached their forties. After 24 years of marriage, Zeigler and Henrichs divorced but made sure to keep things amicable for the sake of their children, who were just eight and five at the time.
Even though they’d both remarried, the divorcés remained close to co-parent their children. Now that their two kids are adults with their own respective families, there’s no real obligation for Zeigler and Henrichs to maintain their friendship, yet they have. In fact, when Henrichs needed a kidney transplant in February 2018, Zeigler stepped up to donate.
Henrichs spent months looking for a prospective donor with no luck. Zeigler knew her blood type, O, was universal and decided to get tested. “Things were just starting to point my direction… and sent the first round of blood work down and not only were we a good match, but they said we shared some antigens,” she told Fox9.
The following October, the former husband and wife went into surgery and both came out alive and well. “I don’t think what I did was too amazing. I was thrilled to be able to do it. To do it for, not just him, but for my kids and for [his wife] Linda, everybody,” Zeigler later told NBC-affiliate Kare 11, explaining that it’s just what you do for family – no matter when they were in your life.