LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A 20-year-old Lufkin girl and her father are preparing for a surgery that could change both of their lives. After contracting the H1N1 flu over a year ago, Christopher Gill found out he needed a kidney. His daughter said giving a kidney is not a sacrifice but a must.
A dad is a daughter's first love, and nothing could uphold the essence of those words more than the journey Rebecca and Christopher Gill are preparing to take.
"He's always been my best friend, my person," said Rebecca Gill.
Rebecca, a lively nursing student at Texas A&M State University who nothing short of stunning and just 20 years young said when her best friend fell victim to the H1N1 flu, her only concern was how to fix it.
"I got H1N1 flu, and that put me into a coma," Christopher Gill said.
The illness ultimately led to kidney failure. The former cardiologist, performer of over a thousand procedures, will undergo a kidney transplant in two weeks.
"Hopefully, I can have him for my life span. Twenty maybe 25 years," Rebecca said.
Keeping her father longer comes with an extreme sacrifice. Rebecca, Christopher's oldest daughter, is the only match in the family for a kidney transplant.
"She never hesitated. I never implied. At least, I don't think I did. She just said, 'Okay, let's do it,'" Christopher said.
Rebecca said to her, it's no sacrifice.
"I don't feel like I'm sacrificing for him. I feel like it's a selfish decision. I want you longer, so here you go," Rebecca said.
Christopher said he would not have expected this.
"No! That's what very much surprised me," Christopher said.
Christopher said Rebecca has taken charge. She moved to Houston while he recovered for two months, never leaving the side of the man who she said couldn't have been a better father.
"Those are moments that I can't take back. I want him to see me walk down the aisle and see my children," Rebecca said.
The two, after never-ending tests, set-backs, and holdups, are anxious to undergo the surgery that could give Christopher the life he remembers, and Becca, the chance to share with him the life ahead of her.
"It wasn't an option. I had to," Rebecca said.
The Gills will have surgery at the end of this month. If you would like to donate, there's a Go-Fund-Me account set up. http://www.gofundme.com/Dr-GillKidneyFund