NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A woman is recovering at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell after receiving a life-saving Valentine’s Day gift from her husband.

As CBS 2’s Steve Langford reported Saturday, Joy and Richard Mach have known for 40 years they’re the perfect match, but her urgent need for a kidney transplant added a whole knew meaning to the phrase.

“Either I had the surgery or I will be getting ready to go on dialysis,” Joy explained.

“I wanted to do everything I could to make sure that she would survive,” Richard said of his decision to donate his kidney to his wife.

Doctors had said Richard’s kidney was a match and so the couple set up the surgeries for the day before Valentine’s Day.

“Without a kidney match she was not going to live a long life,” Richard said.

“It was very sentimental. It was very, you know, words of love and appreciation,” Joy said.

Just before heading into side-by-side operating rooms, a profound moment happened between husband and wife on matching gurneys, Langford reported.

“Basically we kissed, we clinched, and I guess we just said we’ll see you on the other side,” Richard said. “I was just very emotional when I saw her.”

The couple wasn’t reunited again until the day after the surgery, Valentine’s Day.

“It’s, you know, brought us together on even another level,” Joy said.

Profound and romantic, but in an indication that the two were recovering nicely, a note of humor too. “He didn’t come up with anything else to give me for Valentine’s Day, so he gave me a kidney,” Joy said.

For the couple, it’s a line that may never get old.

Richard said he’ll be up and around in a couple of weeks. While Joy should be released from the hospital early next week. Her recovery is expected to take a few months.

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