For most, a successful first date begins with chemistry and ends with a kiss.
But when 47-year-old Erika Bragan's close friend went on a Tinder date with a new woman, Bragan walked away with something else entirely: her life.
While on a first date with a new woman, 43-year-old Rich O'Dea mentioned in passing his friend Erika was ill and needed a new kidney.
Perhaps a bit dark for first-date talk, but O'Dea didn't think anything of it: He was simply trying to make conversation.
But a week after the date, Thomas had her blood tested as a potential match for O'Dea's friend Erika.
When the results came back a match (both shared the rare O-negative blood type), Thomas decided to continue with the testing, becoming Erika's first potential donor since putting her name on the transplant list several years ago.
Thomas told PEOPLE,
[I] couldn't imagine being in [Erika's] shoes and her children losing their mother. I knew I had to find a way to help her.
About three months and countless tests later, doctors approved Thomas as a donor match.
Erika will receive the new kidney in exactly one week, and she and her husband, Scott, couldn't be more grateful.
Thomas is "our angel," Scott said. He added,
So many things had to align for this to come together. Everything happens for a reason and as weird as it sounds, we have a dating app to thank for saving my wife's life.
Oh, and as for Thomas and O'Dea, the ordeal brought them together -- as friends.
“Happily ever after” may be a phrase made up for fairytales, but if it doesn't describe this situation perfectly, I don't know what does.