Taylor Givens and Collin Kobelja are a match made in heaven. Soon, they will be tying the knot – and it is all thanks to their faulty hearts.
Because he had been born with an abnormal heart, 22-year-old Kobelja found himself at the INOVO Fairfax Hospital of Virginia back in 2011 awaiting his second heart transplant. Hovering on the brink of death while machines were pumping his blood, Kobelja’s odds did not look good.
Despite the average 4-month waiting time for a heart transplant, however, a donor came through and Kobelja was given a new heart just in the nick of time.
Meanwhile in a hospital room a few doors down from Kobelja, 17-year-old Givens was also awaiting a heart transplant. The teenager, who had been diagnosed with an enlarged heart, was hooked up to the same medical apparatus, desperately hoping for the unexpected to happen.
As fate would have it, it did.
Just before Givens’s heart was due to give out, a donor came through and the teenager underwent a successful transplant on the very same day as Kobelja.
Though the two transplant patients never met, their families would often chat with each other while they were visiting their respective offspring. Upon hearing that there was a fellow young transplant patient staying down the hall, Givens wanted to meet with him and talk about the experience. Kobelja, on the other hand, was too emotionally drained from the stress to feel much like making friends.
But thanks to the friendship that was struck up between their parents, Givens and Kobelja connected on social media.
Once the they had recovered, Kobelja moved to California and Givens lived in Virginia. They staid in touch, but still did not get the chance to meet until 2016. Givens was recovering from having her tonsils removed at the INOVO hospital while Kobelja was visiting the facilities to chat with his old transplant team. Givens asked the young man to stop by her room and say hi.
The two hit it off immediately.
“Collin left the room and my mom was like, ‘He was flirting with you,’” Givens told TODAY. “We have been emotionally inseparable since.”
Despite having to overcome several obstacles – such as briefly dating long-distance and Givens undergoing chemotherapy for lymphoma that was caused by her transplant – she and Kobelja are planning on getting married soon.
And Givens says that it is all thanks to their array of health issues.
“All of the things that fell into place for us to be together are wild. Everything has happened exactly as it needed to happen,” said the 24-year-old.
Kobelja, now 30 years old, says: “We have been very lucky together. It all lined up.”
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