Gil Vega received the best gift of his life this year from his wife of 33 years, Monica: one of her kidneys.

For three years, the 52-year-old Naperville man had been receiving dialysis as he waited on a decade-long kidney transplant list.

Little did he know his high school sweetheart would become the one to save his life.

Gil and Monica grew up in Chicago.

“I was best friends with her brother, her younger brother in Chicago,” Gil Vega said. “We would play baseball with each other and stuff like that. Then occasionally, you know, I would talk to Monica about my girlfriend problems, and she would talk to me about her boyfriend problems. So that’s how we met originally.”

Picture Source: Monica Vega

SOURCE ( SUZANNE BAKER /Chicago Tribune)