DEVOTED wife Lorna Joseph gave her husband Terry the best Christmas present of all - the gift of life.
The former seamstress underwent a gruelling five-hour operation at the Royal Manchester Hospital to donate one of her kidneys to her husband of 40 years.
Terry, 64, had been on a transplant list for three years after his kidneys began to fail in 2000.
He was diagnosed with Goodpastures Syndrome, an auto-immune disease, and was having dialysis three times a week.
Lorna, 60, said: "He had waited three years and they kept saying: 'Yes, you should be getting a kidney.'
"When I retired from work I decided to do it. I thought it was the right time.
"The doctors told me not to get too excited as our kidneys might not be compatible. It took roughly 12 months for all the tests and everything to go through."
The couple, who celebrated their ruby wedding anniversary in the summer, went under the knife in November and are now recovering at their home in Knowles Street, Rishton.
Terry said: "She is the brave one, being fit and healthy and going in for an operation. Not many people would do that for someone else. I asked her why she was doing it and she said: 'Your life is my life.' "
Lorna added: "I thought I would be nervous because I have never been in hospital in my life apart from when I had the children but it was just a matter of doing it."
Terry, who had to give up his job as a forklift truck driver at James Dewhurst in Altham, told how his life had been restricted over the last four years - not being able to travel freely and being restricted in what he ate and how much fluid he drank.
But now, thanks to Lorna, he has had "the best Christmas in a long time" and is looking forward to the future.
The couple have two sons, Gary, 34, who lives in Sydney, Australia, and Idwal, 37, who lives in Kent, with his partner Tracy and children Jordan, 10, and Kane, eight.
They said their only worry about the operation was how they would cope afterwards with their sons living out of the area, but the family rallied round and Lorna's brothers and their wives took it in turns to look after them.
Terry, who had his dialysis treatment at Accrington Victoria Hospital, praised the staff on the unit.
He said: "The nurses were great and I can't thank them enough for what they have done. It was so pleasurable going there. The nurses were always laughing and joking and it wasn't like going to hospital at all."