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Kenny Chesney Brings Couple Together, Inadvertently Saves a Life

Kenny Chesney
Michael Kovac, Getty Images

Kenny Chesney is better known for his music and signature cowboy hat than his matchmaking skills, but fans Steve and Ashley Pauley of Ohio managed to find love while the ‘Somewhere With You’ singer serenaded them at his concert six years ago.

As the story goes, Steve and Ashley had a first date, but after many unreturned phone calls, the boy was unable to convince the girl to go out with him again … until they bumped into one an other unexpectedly at a Kenny Chesney concert. Steve wasn’t going to let his only second chance pass him by and struck up a conversation with Ashley, who by that point, was already smitten. “I call it love at second sight,” she told the Wilmington News Journal.

Two years later they were married, but that’s by no means the end of the fairy tale. Ashley was diagnosed with Alport syndrome — a genetic disorder that damages blood vessels in the kidneys — at 14-years-old, but with the exception of a modified diet and watching her sodium intake, she says “it wasn’t that big of a deal.” Unfortunately, when the couple became pregnant with their son Emery, Ashley’s kidney function fell to just 23 percent, requiring a transplant.

Steve — and Kenny Chesney, inadvertently — to the rescue. By some force of fate, it turned out that Ashley’s husband’s A-negative blood type was a perfect match to her A-positive, which meant he could be her donor. “I told him we’re a double A battery,” she said with a laugh.

Despite warnings from social workers, Steve had no hesitations about giving up his organ, even though there were risks. “This is my family. This is my wife — the mother of my child,” he said. “What do you expect me to do? I never thought twice. It had to be done.”

Just a week after the surgery, Ashley and Steve were both out of the hospital, and the young mother said she was feeling better than she had in a long time. Steve remarked, “A lot has happened in three years. We got married, bought a house and had a baby, too. It was like that concert was meant to be.”

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