The Modern-Day Fairytale: A Stranger on the Train Became Her Husband

Let’s get to the point and get it out of the way, right from the start: she married the guy. The story began in July of 2003 when a woman named Zoe Folbigg was on her usual commute on a train from Hertfordshire to London at 8:21 in the morning. It was early morning, on a typical workday, with the same usual faces either looking down at their books or listening to music on their headphones (this was before every person had cell phones in front of their faces all the time).

Author Zoe Folbigg and her husband Mark

Author Zoe Folbigg and her husband Mark, who she met on a commuter train. Photo By HEATHCLIFF O’MALLEY/HEATHCLIFF O’MALLEY

“Normally, it’s the same faces who get your train every day and you recognize other people from your commute,” Folbigg later told a morning show. Zoe didn’t expect for that commute that day to be the beginning of a love story that she would eventually write all about in a novel that everyone had been talking about for a while.

This is a modern-day fairytale involving a train, a note, an attractive guy, and a brave woman.

Her Regular Commute

When she first saw the handsome stranger walk onto the train platform to get on the 8.21 am to King’s Cross. Up until that moment, Zoe’s commute was a boring one. The monotony of getting on the same train at the same exact time and seeing the same faces head to work every day can make someone really dread their commute.

Mark sitting on a train

Source: Pinterest

And that’s why when she suddenly saw a new face – a handsome one at that – she thought to herself that this was the guy she wanted to marry. Yes, it’s quite a big leap from noticing him to thinking he’s the one. But that’s what Zoe admittedly thought when she saw him. She was fully aware that it was weird. But hey, she’s just honest.

He’s the One

Zoe wrote about how she’s felt that before – being instantly awestruck by a guy and thinking, ‘this is the one.’ Albeit those men were characters, she saw on her screen, like Matt Dillon in ‘The Outsiders’ and Marti Pellow from ‘Wet Wet Wet.’ This guy, however, standing there on the train, was in the flesh, real, and she wanted to get to know him.

Zoe Folbigg

Source: lifedaily.com

And then marry him, of course. It was July 2003, and she was an adult, meaning she knew exactly what she wanted (I guess?). Everything about him: his face, his walk, his calmness – despite the fact that he seemed to be running late – made her world feel right. But she didn’t pounce on him. Let’s not forget that she’s British.

She’s British, Though

Zoe is British, a population that even says of themselves that they tend to be more on the reserved side. And so she said nothing. She did, however, edge a little further up the platform to where he hopped on and endured what would end up being a painful commute. Why painful? Because she tried as hard as possible not to look his way.

Author Zoe Folbigg holding her book

Author Zoe Folbigg has won Amazon Prime’s most-read book of 2018 for “The Note.” Photo By Danny Loo. Source: thecomet.net

She had to pretend like she didn’t want to constantly stare at him as the train cut through the countryside. The stranger on the train didn’t seem to notice any eyes on him, though, as he was reading “One Hundred Years of Solitude” while fumbling with his iPod. iPods… remember those?

Her Stranger on the Train

That train ride was no isolated incident. The man ended up taking the same commute as her every day. It became a thing. Zoe told her sister about this mysterious “Train Man.” She also talked about him to her friends at work. “My colleagues were amazing. I’d go into work, and they’d say…

Zoe Folbigg

Photo By Alexa Loy. Source: inews.co.uk

“‘How’s train man today? What was he wearing, did he look up?’ and it was always, ‘Oh no, I didn’t talk to him,’” Zoe said as she laughed about it. Zoe was 28 years old at the time, and she was working on a teen magazine in Soho, where she would dish out advice to girls about their crushes. Ironic? Or totally meant to be?

And So, She Waited

Here she was – a gossip and advice columnist for teenage girls and she couldn’t get her grown-up self to even say a word to this guy. She couldn’t even muster of the courage to even look his way. She told young girls to have the confidence to talk to their crushes, but she was too shy to deal with her own. So what did Zoe do?

Zoe Folbigg sitting in front of a desk

Source: inews.co.uk

She waited and waited and waited. She waited for about a year – a year! – until she made a move. And the day she chose to make a move wasn’t just any other day. It was her birthday and she felt lucky. Well, she was also pressured by her friend who was sick of hearing the same thing all the time.

One Crazy Thing

Zoe’s friend was sick of hearing her go on and on about Train Man and doing nothing about it. She got fed up and told Zoe, “What’s the worst that can happen?” And that’s what good friends are for, right? To knock some sense into us from time to time. And that’s exactly what she did for Zoe. It was the truth – what could go wrong?

Women writing in a notebook

Source: lifedaily.com

So Zoe decided to write Train Man a note. It was her birthday, and that was her excuse. In her eyes, everyone should do one crazy thing on his or her birthday. And this was her one crazy thing. Finally, she worked up the courage to ask him out. But not with her words. She would use her pen instead.

The Note

As Zoe was sitting on yet another train ride, staring at Train Man, she passed him a note on the train. What did she write? She wrote that she thought he looked lovely and she asked if he would like to go for a drink as it was her birthday. She also said that if not, no problem, and that she wished him happy travels and would leave him in solitude.

Zoe sitting on a bench

Source: Facebook

She signed off with her email address, thinking that giving him her phone number would be a bit too forward. Again, these were the days before WhatsApp and Instagram. In May 2004, those who had cell phones used them mostly for making phone calls. For Zoe, giving her email address felt a lot safer.

The Waiting Game

Giving him a note meant that she had to wait to hear his answer – if he even planned to give her one! While the day she wrote the note was indeed on her birthday, it wasn’t until 11 days later that she mustered up even more courage to actually give the man the note she spent probably too much time writing.

Mark Folbigg holding a dog

Source: Instagram

And so on the commute, somewhere between Finsbury Park and King’s Cross, she went up to him and said: “Excuse me, please, can I give you this?” handing him the now-crumpled note from her clammy hand. He looked up, baffled, but smiled and took the note. Zoe then walked off the train as quickly as her shaky legs could take her.

Train Man Has a Name

Ok, folks, believe it or not, Train Man has a real name, and it’s Mark. And Mark left Zoe anxiously waiting (and sweating) until 5 pm that day. He obviously read her note and sent her a response via email. He emailed her to say thank you for her note, but there was some bad news: he had a girlfriend. Dun-Dun-Dun!

Mark and Zoe Folbigg 

Source: Instagram

He wished her a happy birthday and said that it was a brave thing to do. It was a nice reply, for sure, but it wasn’t the one she had hoped for when she would romanticize the whole story and envision them together with the one I’d hoped for when I’d pictured us together. She was gutted and had to face the embarrassment of letting down her excited coworkers.

A Crappy Eight Months

And so for the next eight months, Zoe continued to ride the same train at the same time with the same people… and Mark. She would see him on the train, and they would smile awkwardly before going back to reading their books. For eight long months, Zoe tried to forget about Mr. Train Man.

Mark and Zoe Folbigg listening to music

Source: Instagram

She did her best not to imagine how beautiful and amazing his girlfriend must be. She went on several first dates with other guys that she met or was set up with. But she always thought, “He’s not Train Man.” With each one, there was never a second date. While Mark ultimately rejected her proposal, he did, however, inspire her to write.

One Friday

One Friday in January of 2005, a year and a half after Mark entered that train and into her life (albeit from afar), she came back from lunch to see an email come out of the blue. It was from Mark, and he was single. He had been for a few months and thought he would give it a swing and email the cute girl who gave him that note that day.

Mark Folbigg drinking coffee

Source: Instagram

“If you still fancied that drink, would you like to go out?” Folbigg recalls of his email. “My circumstances have changed and it would be lovely to go out for a drink.” Zoe didn’t wait until 5 pm to respond to Mark, saying yes.

Like a Fairytale

The next night, the two met in a pub in their home town. By Monday, they were getting the 8.21 AM train together. From that first drink, the two were an item and they were inseparable. They had clear chemistry, and within three months, they were already living together. Then, like two true love birds, they both quit their jobs and went on an adventure.

Mark and Zoe Folbigg traveling

Source: Instagram

They decided to travel the world together. In 2008, they traveled for the entire year. Zoe took her little laptop so she could carry on writing for magazines. And then three years after their first date, Mark proposed. I told you – this is a modern-day fairytale!

Her Best-Selling Novel

Zoe took her real-life fairytale and wrote a book about it. She had a lot of downtime on their trip with all the buses, planes, and trains, so she started writing what would eventually become her novel. What she didn’t know at the time was that it would also become a best-seller. She also didn’t expect the trip to inspire a sequel.

Mark and Zoe Folbigg wedding day

Source: Instagram

She kept writing as they traveled, with her inspiration sitting next to her on the night bus in India or on the beach in Panama. By 2009, the pair were married, six years after Zoe first spotted him on their commute. They came home from their year abroad and got hitched. Today, they have two sons together.

Lovely Messages

Since “The Note” has been a bestseller, Zoe’s gotten many lovely messages from strangers telling her they would like to find a handsome stranger on their commute, too. That they’re also thinking of writing a note, asking her advice on what to do. But according to Zoe, “I’m no authority, I just lucked out. But obviously, I err on the side of making a move, as long as it’s done with caution and kindness.”

The book

Source: Instagram

Some of the people who told Zoe of their personal stories include Marnie, from Sydney, who spent months gathering up the courage to pass a note to a guy on her bus. He was in a relationship, so it wasn’t meant to be. But, like Zoe in the face of rejection, she was just glad she made herself do it.

She Had Her Trolls

Zoe also spoke of the fact that she had her share of trolling, too. Some people called her a stalker or a “bunny boiler.” She went on Radio Four’s Woman’s Hour, where a man tweeted to say how if it were the other way around – if a man gave a woman a note on public transport asking her out – that he would be called creepy and a predator.

Zoe Folbigg with her book

Source: Instagram

Zoe responded by saying that she wished in those months of longing that Train Man would do such a thing. She would easily have welcomed a kind and polite note, asking her out and wishing her happy travels and promising to leave her alone if she didn’t want to.

What About Mark?

When Zoe asks Mark for his take on all of this and how it feels to be Train Man, when he’s really just this shy guy – he smiles because he feels that he’s the one who lucked out. He says he never would have had the guts to do what she did, but he’s glad she did it.

The Book

Source: Instagram

After “The Note,” and keeping busy with the boys, Zoe started writing her second book. “With two young boys and all their football/drama/school activities to contend with, I forget all the excitement of what’s happened with The Note and the craziness of the past six months. Then I remember and have to pinch myself – it’s been beyond my wildest dreams, I’m so pleased and so grateful to everyone who’s bought it and told their friends about it.”

Her second book, “The Distance,” is another story about star-crossed lovers, but this one is set in Mexico and Norway about a couple who fall in love. Here’s another modern-day love story that could easily be made into a movie…

When we meet a couple, one of the questions we like to ask is, “so how did you two meet?” The answers involve a high school, work, online dating, and maybe even a matchmaker. But how often do you hear a couple say that they met by accident through a text message? It’s the first time I’ve heard of anything like that. Henry and Kasey would agree that the way they met is super unconventional and even strange.

Henry Glendening and Kasey Bergh

Source: Facebook

They would also tell you that what happened after those initial text messages is even stranger and more unlikely. But it’s their story nonetheless. This is how Henry Glendening and Kasey Bergh met through an accidental text message that became the catalyst to a love story that would ultimately land Henry in a hospital bed. Read on to see the unexpected chain of events that created a bond between them that will last forever. Who knew that such an innocent and accidental text would lead to what these two eventually went through!

The First Text

“Hey, it’s Kasey. I was supposed to connect with Maria in the park but her plane was delayed so I’m at the Westin.” That’s the beginning of a text message that Kasey Berg sent by accident to Henry Glendening. She meant to send it to her colleague, but it landed in Henry’s inbox instead. Kasey was on a business trip in Denver at the time and was hoping to see her friend and colleague on her downtime. She worked for Nestlé-Purina.

Henry Glendening and Kasey Bergh

Source: laduenews.com

The text found its way into Henry’s inbox, who was, at that point, a complete stranger. He received it at about 2 p.m. while driving to work, which was in the paint department at the Lowe’s in Maplewood. While many people would likely ignore a random text message that was obviously sent by accident, Henry felt the need to reply and tell this person that it was a mistake.

He Responded to Her

Henry wanted to show some courtesy to this person who clearly thinks they sent a message to a friend. He didn’t want her to be left high and dry, so he replied to the text right away. He informed Kasey that she texted the wrong person. “Sorry, you’ve got the wrong number. But if I wasn’t headed to work, I’d be down to hang,” he wrote in his text.

Henry Glendening and Kasey Bergh looking at the camera

Source: nypost.com

His first response to her first message led to an apology from Kasey, who went on to complain about being stuck in Denver, and how she was unable to connect with her co-workers and make progress on a big project. “I was so frustrated because I couldn’t connect with anyone, and then the only person on the planet I connect with was the wrong number,” Kasey later said in an interview.

The Beginning of a Relationship

It didn’t take long until they realized that they had a lot more in common with each other than they probably thought. The text messages turned into emails (long ones), and the two would discuss their interests and beliefs, discovering how much they were alike. Henry wrote to her, saying that he was planning a trip out West, with a stop in Colorado.

The Secret – The book

Source: Amazon

The texting continued. He asked her if she knew of “The Secret,” a best-selling book about the law of attraction. It turns out they both believe in this Law of Attraction, which states that positive thoughts can attract anything you put your mind to. They were clearly beginning a relationship, but as many people would feel in a situation like this, Henry felt that this was too good to be true.

What is She Hiding?

For a week, the two kept texting, recommending books, movies, and music to each other. For the record: Henry loves electronica while Kasey is more of a classic rock fan. But Henry felt like there must be something he doesn’t know about Kasey; that she was keeping something from him. There had to be a secret of some kind, and his instincts were right.

Henry Glendening, Kasey Bergh, and their cat

Source: kaseyandhenry.com

The secret Kasey was hiding from this mystery man was that she was 30 years older than him. It came to a point where he asked her age. “Well, I’m 25 in my heart,” she wrote, avoiding the question the first time. But if they were making plans to meet in person, she knew she had to come clean. “Here it is. I’m 53,” she said.

He Didn’t Flinch

Her text message stating her age popped up on his phone’s screen. Kasey was worried that the age difference would be a factor that could spoil their developing relationship. But when she gathered up the courage to tell Henry, she was surprised to see that Henry, then 23 years old, didn’t care at all! He continued to talk to her despite the huge age gap.

Henry Glendening and Kasey Bergh in a restaurant

Source: Facebook

“It really didn’t make any difference,” Henry later said. “We were so connected at that point through deeper stuff.” One week after their first SMS exchange, the two decided to meet in person and met up at Coffee Cartel in the Central West End. Henry said how it was an instant attraction. “It’s not like she had an aura. I’m not sure how that kind of thing works. But there was this positive, open energy about her,” he said.

When Kasey Met Henry

After coffee, the two went to Fair St. Louis in Forest Park to see the band Third Eye Blind perform in a concert. Kasey had tickets to the concert and asked Henry if he wanted to come along. And, of course, Henry accepted her offer. It was as though the law of attraction was coming into play already. At the concert, Henry stood behind Kasey and had the guts to place his hands on her waist.

Henry Glendening and Kasey Bergh in a concert

Source: Facebook

“He was standing behind me and put his hands on my hips, a slightly intimate gesture,” Kasey said. This was a pivotal moment, where she said their relationship moved beyond friendship. They ended up spending the rest of the evening having drinks at Vin de Set, a rooftop restaurant in Lafayette Square.

Drinks Lead to Another Date

They decided to meet again for a second date at Kaldi Coffee. Kasey got there early and ordered an iced Mayan Mocha (her go-to drink in the summer). When Henry got there, he ordered the same thing. The universe was showing its signs! Apart from the same coffee order, they found out that they shared other things as well.

Henry Glendening and Kasey Bergh

Source: Facebook

It was a short date because Henry had to hit the road and head for Great Basin National Park in Nevada. He told Kasey that he was planning a solo trip to focus on what he wants to do with his life. “I was in this awful place. I didn’t want to do retail forever,” he explained. So their relationship was about to be interrupted.

They Wouldn’t Be in Contact Anymore

“I just wanted to take a week and a half, go out West, and go where I can see the stars really, really well. The whole trip was about solitude, reconnecting with the universe and myself.” As Bergh remembers it, she said: “He had sworn up and down that he would not be in contact while gone.” Their new relationship that started with a text was now going to be dormant for a while.

Henry Glendening, Kasey Bergh, and friends

Source: Facebook

Kasey didn’t know what to expect. She clearly liked the guy and felt that it was a mutual feeling. But they both thought that starting a relationship together would be slim. Henry was in a rocky relationship with another woman, was unhappy with his job, didn’t like his job working in retail, and wanted to unplug and think. Kasey, on the other hand, gave up on love after 6 years of being divorced.

He Went on His Way

Henry was driving through Kansas when he passed a field with sunflowers. He had emotions surge through him, feeling like Kasey’s energy was there. So he decided to take a little detour and went to the field to and pick out a sunflower which he kept on his dashboard. That sunflower remained there for the rest of his trip.

Henry Glendening, Kasey Bergh

Source: Facebook

Henry couldn’t deny the strong feeling and close connection to Kasey. He was starting to think that it wasn’t just a crush. But he told Kasey that he wouldn’t be in contact with her during his trip. But when he got to the western edge of Utah, about half an hour from the national park, he checked himself into a hotel and contacted Kasey.

A Not So Simple Voice Memo

Henry ended up cutting his trip short by a few days. He said it was because the weather forecast called for cloudy skies, which wasn’t ideal for his plans for stargazing. But I think we can also assume that he just wanted to see Kasey, who meanwhile was listening over and over again to the voice memo that he left for her.

Henry Glendening and Kasey Bergh in front of a Christmas tree

Source: Facebook

He couldn’t get her off of his mind, and everything was reminding him of her. While Henry tried to remind himself that he needed to stick to his word and not do anything crazy, he ended up caving and left her a voice memo. It simply said: “I love you.” There you go – he said it. Now he just needed to see what she would say.

The Same Wavelength

“I was just like ‘wow.’ Someone else might have seen this guy as over the top,” Kasey later said of how she felt when receiving that voice message. But that three-word message didn’t freak her out. It did, however, make her rethink her thoughts on having a serious relationship. Kasey was still getting to know him, but there was something real between them.

Kasey Bergh, Henry Glendening and their grandson, Lucas

Kasey Bergh, Henry Glendening, and their grandson, Lucas. Source: Facebook

“From the very, very beginning, it felt like we were on the same wavelength,” Henry said. Kasey kept replaying the voicemail again and again. They never would have guessed that a mistake text message would bring them to this point – to this declaration of love. And they especially had no idea of what was in store for them.

Giving Love Another Chance

At that point, Kasey was divorced and had been single for years. “I had totally embraced that I was single and that I never needed a guy,” she explained. “Then, I met Henry.” She decided to give love another chance and very soon, Henry and Kasey became a couple. And their friends and families were really happy for them.

Kasey Bergh, Henry Glendening, and his two brothers

Source: Facebook

Despite the age gap, their friends accepted the fact that they seemed to be meant for each other. No one voiced any doubts or reservations about their relationship. Henry and Kasey were simply a good fit for each other, despite the age difference. They brought out the best in each other, and Kasey was good at helping Henry figure out for himself which direction to go in his life, which was at a major turning point.

She Was Inspiring Him

Before he met Kasey, he often felt like his life was going nowhere. “Kasey is a huge inspirer. She wasn’t recommending or advocating any particular direction I go, but she encouraged exploring, finding out what I want to do.” He went to the University of Missouri in Columbia but never finished. He was also interested in developing apps.

Henry Glendening at the Apple's World Wide Developer Conference

Source: Facebook

Kasey suggested that he begin “informational interviews to find out how people got to where they got to.” A friend of Henry’s worked at a digital agency and agreed to introduce him to the head of the company. After a chat with the guy, Henry was offered an internship, which then led to a job.

But at that point, Henry was still living at home with his parents…

People Would Stare

Their partnership was unorthodox, and even though their families and friends accepted it, everyone else was still adjusting to it. An age gap of 30 years is uncommon, especially when the woman is the much older one of the pair. “You can’t blame them,” Henry said of people who gave them looks. “It’s not a relationship you see very often. One that defies the age stereotype.”

Kasey Bergh and Henry Glendening watching musicians play Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd

Source: Facebook

Kasey was an executive working for Purina, and Henry was meeting her colleagues, most of whom were high up on the corporate ladder. The couple would attend work functions. “Initially, there was that social anxiety, that people would think he was my son,” Kasey said. But with time, the anxiety decreased and the two became more secure.

They Moved In Together

It was only two months after that first text message that they decided to take the next step. Kasey had her own place, while Henry was still living with his parents. So they figured moving in together was the right move. Henry then moved out of his parents’ house and into Kasey’s apartment in Lafayette Square.

Kasey Bergh and Henry Glendening at home

Source: Facebook

Both Kasey and Henry believed that things happen for a reason. A text message brought him to Kasey, who became the love of his life. He was living with her, admired her, appreciated her, and knew that it was a matter of time until he would go ahead and pop the big question. At this point, they had been together for two years.

Popping the Question

On June 29, 2014, two years after Kasey sent that text, they went to Vin De Set, the restaurant where they had their first drinks together after the concert. Henry had it all planned out. While they were sitting at a table having dinner, he excused himself to go to the bathroom. He went over to an employee and handed him his iPod. His instructions were: “Wait for 15 to 20 seconds before pushing play.”

Kasey Bergh and Henry Glendening on their wedding day

Source: Facebook

He then walked back to the table, dropped down to one knee, pulled out a ring box from his pocket, and held it open for Kasey to see. As he was proposing to her, Kasey could hear her favorite song playing quietly in the background. “I knew he had arranged that too. It’s not a song you’d typically hear in a place like that,” she said. The song? Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You.”

“If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you. When mountains crumble to the sea, there will still be you and me…”

Of Course, She Said Yes!

Yes, obviously, she said yes to Henry! Kasey later recounted how she had come a long way from a girl who thought that she didn’t need a man in her life to say yes to the man of her dreams. But no one expected that the couple would end up getting married. But that’s exactly what they did. Three years after their first exchange, Henry and Kasey got married.

 Kasey Bergh and Henry Glendening on their wedding day

Source: Facebook

They wed at the floodwall of the Mississippi River, which was a spot covered by graffiti by local artists from St. Louis. It was one of Henry’s favorite spots and what he thought would be an ideal place for them to get hitched.

Things were going great for the newlyweds until things took a turn for the worse…

In Sickness and In Health

After everything was going well for a while, things started to go south. Kasey had an underlying health condition. Her kidneys were failing, and it was starting to take over her daily life. She had to undergo 3 to 4 dialysis treatments every week. The couple knew that it was going to be a serious problem because she had a kidney transplant years before they met.

Kasey Bergh in the Hospital

Source: Facebook

This wasn’t a secret or anything, though. Kasey was upfront about her health, and Henry knew about the transplant and the impending health issues before they got married. He was aware that Kasey would need a new kidney soon, but that wasn’t going to stop him from being with her. In sickness and in health, right?

Finding a Donor

Nearly 20 years ago, Kasey went through the same process of finding a kidney donor. She knew how difficult it would be to do it all over again. The average time it takes to find a kidney transplant is five years, so they had to accept that the dialysis treatments would have to continue and become a part of their life.

Kasey Bergh and Henry Glendening

Source: Facebook

They were now two years into their marriage, and all of their plans were going to have to be put on hold. Henry was a helper and doer and determined to find a way to help the woman whom he loved so much. He was desperate to find a solution. And desperate times call for desperate measures. So Henry came up with a solution…

Donating His Own Kidney

Henry wanted to see if he would be able to donate his own kidney to his wife. This would be seen as quite odd since most of the kidneys that are donated to those in need are from relatives, not spouses. However, Henry didn’t wanna give up. He knew he was going to have to undergo many tests to determine whether or not his kidney was even viable for Kasey.

Kasey Bergh and Henry Glendening

Source: Facebook

But that wasn’t going to stop him from trying. So he went through a series of tests to see if he would be a match. The tests showed that he was indeed a positive match and able to donate his kidney. The doctors wanted him to know, though, that Kasey’s body could reject the kidney.

What Are the Chances?

Yet, in spite of all the risks, Henry knew that he wanted to give his kidney to his wife. He had no second thoughts. The tests showed that Henry had the blood group O, which meant he could technically donate an organ to a person of any blood type. Kasey had a low volume of antibodies that could potentially attack Henry’s kidney.

Kasey Bergh and Henry Glendening

Source: Facebook

Her doctors even said, “Not only did she marry her soul mate, but she married her immunologic soul mate.” What are the chances? The doctors themselves were amazed at what they were witnessing. When Kasey told her doctors how the two had met, the staff at the hospital started to cry. It was an emotional and inspiring story in the making. And they were a part of it.

Before the Surgery

John Herlihy, who is a close friend of the couple, came to visit Kasey on the last day of her dialysis before her surgery. He brought her balloons to make her feel better. Some people from a local coffee shop, who were also friends of the couple, came to wish her well. They had clearly made friends and inspired people around them.

Kasey Bergh and Henry Glendening

Source: Facebook

The day arrived, and the couple made their way to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. The following few hours would decide their future. The doctors prepared to remove one of Henry’s kidneys and prepare the transfer to Kasey. As they said their goodbyes before getting wheeled away, Kasey said to Henry: “We’re doing this thing, huh?” and Henry said, “YES.”

Logic or Love?

The doctor talked to Henry and his father about the surgery and informed them of all the risks that were involved in donating a kidney. Henry was aware of all of the risks, but he had no second thoughts. He was ready to go through with it. He saw it as the logical choice since he wouldn’t have any trouble living with one kidney.

Kasey Bergh and Henry Glendening

Source: Facebook

However, to this day, Kasey doesn’t think that it was logical that drove Henry to do this incredible deed. She believes that the decision was not logical at all. That instead, he was driven by his love for her. She was constantly amazed by the things Henry was doing for her and was very grateful. Now it was a matter of time to see what the results were.

The Surgeries Were a Success

Both surgeries were successful. There was a necessary but brief recovery period which meant that Henry and Kasey wouldn’t be able to see each other. Henry’s parents were supportive during the whole process and waited with him by his hospital bed until he was able to see his wife again. Henry was pretty much out of it, but he was eager to see Kasey.

Kasey Bergh and Henry Glendening at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Source: Facebook

That night was hard for Kasey because she was suffering from bouts of nausea. When morning came, the first thing she saw was a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers in her hospital room. Remember the sunflowers that Henry saw on his solo trip? Henry ordered the sunflowers days before this morning came, knowing = they would cheer her up. And they did.

No More Dialysis

Henry finally went over to Kasey’s room with his parents, and everyone was so happy to hear that the surgeries were a success. Kasey remembers asking Henry if he really did give her his kidney. Henry softly replied with a “yes.” A full recovery was a long way to go, but Kasey was now off the hook for dialysis treatments.

Kasey Bergh and Henry Glendening

Source: Facebook

The couple was released from the hospital, but they still had to follow a very strict recovery regimen. Kasey definitely had it harder than Henry since she had to take 11 pills a day to keep her body from rejecting her new kidney. While the chances were slim, the doctors weren’t going to take any chances. Henry, too, had to take some pills daily.

Getting Back on Track

Henry knew that they were going to need a hobby to pass the time while they were recovering at home. He decided to try his favorite childhood toys: Legos. He bought a set before being admitted to the hospital. It may seem childish, but it helped him pass the time. Even Kasey helped him every now and then.

Kasey Bergh at home holding balloons

Source: Facebook

Every day, the couple took short walks to make sure Kasey would gain her strength back. It also allowed them to bond even more. After their walks, Kasey would get tired and take a short nap before continuing on with the rest of her day. Their four cats also served as a welcome distraction for both of them.

They also decided to memorialize something special…

Framing Their Texts

The couple decided to turn their text messages into framed art. They saw it as a token of their first conversation as strangers and an homage to what it turned out to be. The framed art hangs on the walls in their home and reminds them of their special story. They say that it also humbles them to realize that there’s always a bigger plan in action.

Framed text messages of Kasey Bergh and Henry Glendening

Source: Facebook

Word of their story entered the mainstream, and there was a lot of buzz around this amazing couple who were lucky to have each other in their lives. Their love story went viral after a local newspaper published a piece about them. They started to receive mail from people around the world with words of encouragement and admiration.

They Created a Blog

The couple created a blog where they would keep people updated on their daily lives and the status of their relationship. It allowed readers from around the world to get a personal view of their relationship and their story. The couple documented their travels and future prospects and common interests. They also spoke of the requests people were making of them.

Kasey Bergh and Henry Glendening in a soccer match

Source: Facebook

With all the love and admiration that came pouring in from all parts of the world, people were asking Henry and Kasey to turn their love story into a TV series or even a movie. But they didn’t plan on doing any of that. The blog should suffice. In the blog, Henry and Kasey have some messages that they like to share.

Donate, Folks!

First of all, Henry encourages everyone healthy to donate a kidney or be an organ donor which can increase the chances of someone getting a much-needed kidney somewhere in the country. He says this can mean saving or improving up to 75 lives for every person who becomes an organ donor. With those numbers, donating a kidney was a logical choice!

Kasey Bergh and Henry Glendening

Source: Facebook

The couple says the success of their relationship is thanks to five simple things: affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. They believe that it takes these five things to make a relationship really work, and if any of them are missing it could lead to the downfall of a relationship.

Avid Readers

Henry and Kasey are avid readers, and a lot of their broad perspectives come from the various books that they read. They also find solace in times of need by reading books. They said in their blog how they highly recommend The Celestine Prophecy, a book that Henry read after a friend of his had disappeared and passed away under mysterious circumstances.

Celestine Prophecy Kit - James Redfield

Source: facesintherock.com

He said the book gave him an insight into how things happen in life. Kasey and Henry’s story may sound too good to be true, but it’s just what it is. The couple believes they met for a reason and that the Universe or God or whatever had a plan for them. Kasey said ever since she was 23, opportunities presented themselves to her, and Henry was one that came along.

Recovering Almost Too Well!

A few months after the kidney transplant, Kasey and Henry are happy and attending activities like baseball games and concerts. People who know them well say it does not look like they underwent surgery at all. They recovered so well, and it is likely due to their bond and dedication to one another. Such endings are rare today, where we almost expect something bad to happen.

Kasey Bergh and Henry Glendening at the fair

Source: Facebook

But if there was any couple that deserved such a fairy tale ending, it was Henry and Kasey. Henry and Kasey aren’t the only couples where one gives an organ to the other. In their case, it was successful and all is well. But that’s not always the case. Take the next couple for example…

She Donated a Kidney. Now She Wants it Back

Samantha Lamb saved her husband’s life when she gave him one of her kidneys. But after he got better, he left her. Samantha, a mother of one child, is furious because she believes that her husband Andy cheated on her. And because of that, she wants to take her organ back! Not for herself, but to give it to “someone more deserving.”

Samantha Lamb and her husband

Source: tv2.no

Andy denies ever cheating on her. Samantha, age 41, told the Sunday People: “I can’t ­believe he now has a second chance to live to see his grandchildren grow up. I would definitely go through the operation again, but I wouldn’t give the kidney to him. I hate him. If I could, I’d take it back and give it someone else.”

In the Beginning

Samantha said that she doesn’t want people to be put off adding their names to the organ donor list. But all she wants from her husband is his name on the divorce papers. Samantha met Andy, age 45, while they were both drivers for a private ambulance firm. And, of course, things went very well at first.

Samantha Lamb and her husband

Source: donatelife-organdonation.blogspot.com

She recalled how they got together in 2004. He was on living on in Essex, and she was in London. “Andy was quick-witted and used to make me laugh. He had loads of one-liners.” They split up and got back together and ended up getting married in 2007. “We had a nice life, although there were signs that Andy wasn’t what I had hoped for. He was controlling, like not letting me wear perfume every day.”

There Were Warning Signs

Samantha admits that by the time they planned to go under the knife and go through with the kidney transplant surgery, there were already some warning signs and that she should have spotted them. They had a three-bedroom house on a lovely street, and they thought they were happy. “Then, Andy became sick. His kidneys were failing. But he didn’t face up to it; he just got angry.”

Samantha Lamb

Source: mirror.co.uk

“He thought the world was against him and everyone else was to blame. I loved him and wanted him to get better, but his moods were awful and he’d take it out on me.” Eventually, she made a very brave decision and even had to persuade him to accept one of her kidneys.

She Had to Persuade Him

“His condition had deteriorated. He needed a new kidney, or he would die. He was on dialysis three times a week.” She told her sick husband that he should go through with it. He already had children from another relationship and so he wanted to be there for them. That was the reason he went through with the transplant.

Samantha and Andrew

Source: mirror.co.uk

Before and after the kidney surgery, the couple was filmed for a BBC documentary about organ donation. Samantha said that it was the crew’s presence that made her scared that her sacrifice would not have a happy ending. “As soon as I went through with it, I knew I had done the wrong thing. Andy looked really ill before the operation, gaunt and grey.”

After the Surgery

After the transplant, Samantha felt awful, like she had been hit by a train. Meanwhile, Andy was the “picture of health and full of color.” She noticed how he had shaved for the camera. And when she mentioned it to him, he basically growled at her: “Don’t talk to me like that.” What a way to talk to someone who just gave you their kidney!

Samantha and Andrew

Source: dailystar.co.uk

According to Samantha, everything went downhill from then on. Andy was as moody and resentful as he was before, even worse. He told her that she was never to mention the transplant surgery to anyone. “He said I could never throw it in his face,” she explained in the interview. For some reason, he was angry at her.

Anger and Guilt

“I’m sure the anger was caused by guilt,” Samantha figured. “He would spend hours on his laptop and then pick a fight that would end with him leaving for hours.” Then he would tell her that he was sitting in a parking lot, thinking. But she knew what he was really up to. She knew she had to confront him.

Samantha and Andrew

Source: dailymail.co.uk

She confronted Andy about having an affair with her friend, Clare. “My mom and sister saw him with his arm around her. He denied it and stormed out.” She said they tried to salvage their broken marriage for the sake of Samantha’s daughter from a previous marriage, Beatrice. But she still felt like he was cheating, and so she confronted her friend.

Coming Clean

Samantha said how Clare admitted to the affair and said she was in love with him. “I wanted to throttle Andy,” Samantha said. She got Clare to phone him and put him on the speaker. She wanted to hear his reaction when she told him, ‘Sam knows.’ And what did he say? He just said, ‘Oh.’ And what did Samantha do?

man chatting using a laptop

Source: Imgur

“I did what any woman would do. I cut up his clothes, put them in black garbage bags, and left them outside the house.” Apparently, she took him back for one more try. Only to find out that he was having online chats with women. Andy left for good in August of 2012, with his new kidney and all.

What Andy Had to Say

Samantha just wants a divorce. She is trying to get on with her life and deal with the frustration. And every time she sees her operation scar, she is reminded of how ungrateful her husband was. “At least he always has to remember where his kidney came from.” Andy was interviewed to see what he had to say about all this.

Samantha Lamb

Source: dailymail.co.uk

“I did walk out on Samantha after she’d donated her kidney, but I wasn’t unfaithful. I never wanted her to donate her kidney because it was a big risk. But she insisted, and I’ll always owe her my life. I loved her but our relationship wasn’t working. We had big rows and her family never liked me. Despite what Samantha believes, I’ve never been with her friend. I just helped train her dog.”