Years ago, Chris Dempsey volunteered to donate half his liver to Heather Krueger, a woman he had never met before.
Dempsey first heard about the stranger’s plight when his coworker told him about his cousin, who was in desperate need of a liver transplant.
“I was just sitting in a break room and I just happened to overhear him talking about his cousin who needed this transplant and I just thought to myself if I was in that situation I would want somebody to step up,” Dempsey said during an interview on Hallmark’s Home and Family show.
Krueger had been battling autoimmune hepatitis, a type of liver disease that causes your immune system to attack your liver cells, NBC reported. Dempsey went to Chicago to get tested and found out he was a match. The two started talking after the surgery and quickly fell in love.
Heather Krueger (L) and Chris Dempsey (R). Credit: Getty Images
Today, the couple gets to watch their love story unfold in a holiday movie, something that still seems unreal.
Once Upon a Christmas Miracle, which focuses on Krueger (Aimee Teegarden) and Dempsey’s (Brett Dalton) remarkable journey, is part of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries “Miracles of Christmas.” The film will air on W Network in Canada.
“I never would have thought in a million years after doing this that it would turn into any of this,” Dempsey continued.
According to NBC, the couple was three rooms away from each other and started developing feelings for one another shortly after the surgery. Dempsey said he began to wonder if Krueger could be someone he could spend the rest of his life with.
“Him seeing me at my worst and literally saving my life, can only go up from there,” Krueger said. The two were engaged after nine months of dating.
The film also stars Steve Bacic, Lolita Davidovich and Melissa Marie Elias.
Once Upon a Christmas Miracle premieres on Sat. Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. E/P, as part of Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas on W Network.