Wednesday 28 September 2016

Revealed: Ireland's 'most loved-up couple' tell Late Late Show why they're a perfect match

Sasha Brady

Published 12/02/2016 | 19:37

Ireland’s most loved-up couple, revealed on last night’s Late Late Show, are literally a perfect match.

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Debbie Laffan saved the life of husband Reg Plunkett when she donated one of her kidneys to him last year. 

Reg was diagnosed with stage five renal failure three and a half years ago, after he went to the doctor with flu-like symptoms, just three months after the birth of the couple’s third child. He was kept in hospital and placed on dialysis immediately.

The next three years were a battle to keep Reg alive but something completely unexpected happened.

Debbie and Reg have been voted Ireland's most 'loved-up' couple on The Late Late Show
Debbie and Reg have been voted Ireland's most 'loved-up' couple on The Late Late Show

Debbie decided to get herself tested to see if she could be a transplant match for her beloved husband. When the blood tests came back, she was a perfect match.

“It was a one in a million,” Debbie toldThe Late Late Show.

It took another year from hearing the good news with blood tests and scans once a month to ensure that Debbie was fit and healthy enough to donate.

The operation happened in October last year. The couple went into hospital on a Sunday and the operation took place the following day. Debbie was sent home four days later “feeling fantastic”.

Debbie and Reg with their family.
Debbie and Reg with their family.

Reg’s recovery has taken a little longer but he is on the mend.

Their appearance on The Late Late Show was their first night out since the transplant.

Earlier this month The Late Late Show put it up to the people of Ireland to nominate the couples they felt were the most loved up or deserving  of a rare opportunity to appear on the programme and win a fantastic getaway. 

Ryan Tubridy and The Late Late Show team received hundreds of entries with friends and family nominating couples from teenagers in the first flush of love to people celebrating 60 years of marriage, with stories ranging from relationships born out of incredible coincidence to heart-wrenching stories of devotion.

Ryan Tubridy said: “Reg and Debbie’s story really struck a chord with everyone on the team. They have been through a tough few years but Reg is on the mend now and we’re delighted to be able to give them something to look forward to”.

As well as appearing on The Late Late Show, the couple have won a romantic getaway in Europe.

Debbie and Reg
Debbie and Reg

Debbie and Reg (both 38) met at just 16 years of age at a local disco in Terenure called Itchy Feet.

Reg walked Debbie home in the lashing rain and her father took pity on him and took him home.

He called around the next day and they have been together ever since. The couple, who have three children and live in Newbridge, Co Kildare, will celebrate ten years of marriage in May this year.

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