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Knoxville husband, wife head into surgery for kidney transplant

WATE 6 On Your Side Staff - NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - A Knoxville man headed into surgery to receive a new kidney on Thursday, weeks after his wife found out she was a perfect match and told her husband in a sweet and unique way.

Steve Winfree was diagnosed with kidney disease at age 18. He was told if he didn't have a transplant, he wouldn't live past the age of 30.

After she found out she was a match in July, his wife Heather Winfree used a custom-made Topps baseball card to let her husband know he wouldn't be striking out because of health issues anymore. She says her husband is an avid collector.

Their sweet story has been shared numerous times on local, national and social media.

VIDEO: Knoxville woman creates baseball card to tell husband she is kidney donor match

On Thursday, doctors performed the transplant operation at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville.

"Everything's just fallen into place where it's a miracle that I'm a match and able to donate, but I've had a good feeling that I would be able to," said Heather Winfree.

"We've spent more nights in hospitals than hotel rooms on vacation and I'm hoping to change that," said Steve Winfree.

Steve Winfree tweeted on Friday that both are now recovering and he's already gotten out of bed to walk for the first time since the surgery, to check on his wife. He said in a later post his surgery was a success and he would be cheering on the Vols on Saturday.

WATE 6 On Your Side will continue to follow the Winfrees' journey.

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