U.K. couple Samantha and Andy Lamb have been married since 2007. Four years ago, after Andy's kidneys started failing, he began undergoing thrice-weekly dialysis sessions. In an effort to save her husband's life, Samantha, now 41, offered up one of her kidneys, which Andy, now 45, gratefully accepted. Sounds like a sweet story, right? The BBC even documented the couple's journey as they underwent the organ transplant in a documentary called "Diet or My Husband Dies."
But soon after the operation (for which Samantha had to lose weight in order to undergo), she began to suspect that Andy was cheating. He was moody and distant, and was spending a lot of time on his computer, according to her interview with Britain's the Mirror Online. Samantha didn't have proof until she stumbled upon his online sex sessions with another woman and her mother and sister allegedly caught Andy with his arms around her best friend. (Andy denies the cheating allegations.)
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Yahoo Shine could not reach Samantha or Andy for comment, however, Samantha told the Mirror Online that she is filing for divorce, that she feels bitter when she looks at the four-inch scar left by the operation, and that she wishes she could take her kidney back. "I can't believe he now has a second chance to live to see his grandchildren grow up," she told the Mirror. "I would definitely go through the operation again - but I wouldn't give the kidney to him. I hate him. If I could, I'd take it back and give it [to] someone else. Obviously I don't want people to be put off putting their names on the organ donor list. But all I want from him is his name on the divorce papers."
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It's unlikely that Samantha will be getting that kidney back, however, says Fred Silberberg, a Beverly Hills-based certified family law specialist. "Here in the United States, there are no property rights to a kidney," Silberberg tells Yahoo Shine. "The first issue is that this woman made a medical donation and one that wasn't conditional on him remaining faithful. The second issue is that no court would have jurisdiction over a body part. It's already in his body."
Similarly complicated cases have made headlines in recent years, including one in 2007 about a divorced Texas couple's closely battle over three frozen embryos. Augusta Roman was initially awarded custody of the embryos that she and ex-husband Randy fertilized in 2002. However, two years later, a higher court reversed that decision because the couple had signed an agreement to have the fertility clinic destroy the embryos in the event of a divorce, and that verdict was later appealed. Since then, many fertility clinics around the country require couples to sign similar agreements outlining how they would handle the embryos in the case of divorce.
In Samantha's case, while she may not get her kidney back, she'll likely get her divorce. And then there's this consolation she shared with the Mirror Online: "At least he always has to remember where his kidney came from." Indeed.