Most couples exchange rings and vow to care for each other for the rest of their lives when they marry.
But devoted Lisa Parcel has promised to give her new husband Lee the ultimate wedding present – a new kidney.
The organ pledge is even more remarkable because selfless newlywed Lisa is petrified of pain.
“It really is the perfect wedding present,” said Lee, from Pentre, Rhondda.
The diabetes sufferer, who has endured “nightmare” years of chronic ill-health, is set to go under the knife for the potentially life-saving op after his bride gave a successful blood match.
Mental health nurse Lisa, 27, said she was more than prepared to make the sacrifice for her beloved husband.
“In all honesty, I’m a bit of a wimp – any sort of pain normally scares me,” she said.
“But this is different. This operation will benefit both of us as Lee will be able to live a more normal life.”
Now 33, Lee was diagnosed with stage five kidney failure two and a half years ago after falling ill on holiday in Palma Nova, Spain. He was put on emergency dialysis when both kidneys were found to be functioning at only 5% of their full capacity.
His health then took a catastrophic turn for the worse in February 2012 when he suffered a stroke caused by dangerously high blood pressure. He was put into a medically-induced coma by doctors at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant, who later transferred him to the University Hospital of Wales [UHW] in Cardiff to see kidney specialists.
After learning how to walk again, Lee recovered and can now administer his own blood-filtering dialysis treatment at home.
He is now six to nine months away from getting a new kidney thanks to childhood sweetheart Lisa, whom he has courted for 13 years.
The couple finally tied the knot in June at the St David’s Hotel Spa in Cardiff Bay and live in Volunteer Street with their two dogs.
“It really is the perfect wedding present,” he said.
“But this gift isn’t anything I can really repay or give back.
“She is going through all of this for me and I will never be able to show my thanks enough.
“I will just have to look after it as much as possible.”
Lee has had diabetes for the past 26 years, but it became worse in 2011 when he noticed his ankles and legs swelling up. He was also having major problems breathing.
“I didn’t even know what dialysis was when I was first told I had kidney failure,” he said.
“I came home from holiday and I ended up in the Royal Glamorgan Hospital for three days before being taken to the Heath [UHW] for a further nine days.
“I was on haemodialysis three times a week and hooked up to a machine which took my blood and cleaned it.
“I then had a home drip which I used four times a day. I could never go far and we could never plan trips anywhere, so it deeply affected both of us.
“My dialysis routine now consists of nine hours overnight at the house.
“I have to visit the hospital at least once every three months, but I’m in constant touch with specialist nurses who call to the house.
“I also take around 10 tablets a day along with around four insulin injections.”
Lee was able to take a small break from his treatment during his wedding, which he was well enough to enjoy.
He proposed to the love of his life in June 2011 after organising an elaborate game around the village.
“I was too scared to ask her so I bought a ring and made her go on a treasure hunt,” he added.
“The penny dropped when she found it – and she said ‘yes’ immediately.
“I hadn’t been very well in the run-up to the wedding, but on the day things were fine. The specialists managed to work the dialysis around the day to let me enjoy it.”
If the life-altering operation goes ahead, Lee said the couple are likely to undergo surgery within minutes of one another at UHW
If it’s successful, he will have to take 30 tablets a day for the rest of his life.
Lee said: “What Lisa is doing isn’t just giving me a kidney – it’s a massive operation and comes with a lot of psychological issues. It’s not an easy process for the donor or recipient to endure.
“There is nothing I can say or do to thank my wife for a new life. There’s no repayment for that.
“But she knows how much I appreciate it because she sees what I go through every day – or should I say what we go through every day.
“All we can do is be there for each other.”
He’s not on the organ donation list for a transplant as he has a living donor, but he will be if this transplant fails.
The main role of the kidneys is to filter waste products from the blood before converting them to urine. But if they lose this ability then waste products can build up, which is potentially life-threatening.
An NHS spokeswoman said: “One of the biggest risks of receiving a donated kidney is that your immune system – your body’s natural defence against infection – will mistake the donated kidney for a foreign object, such as a viral or bacterial infection. If this happens, your immune system will attempt to destroy the kidney.
People can function normally on one working kidney.