CHICAGO (CBS) — An Oak Forest woman was given the gift of new life, but it came with a tragic price.

Rose Perry’s 24-year-old son, Ronald, died on May 16, after suffering a stroke, but he was an organ donor, and it turned out he was the perfect match for his mother, who was suffering kidney failure.

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“It’s a sad story, with a very happy ending,” said Dr. Deepak Mital, director of the kidney transplant program at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. “Thanks to her son, really he was – as I was talking to one of the other physicians – a good son to the end, and he was able to really give her the gift of life.”

Perry, a 50-year-old diabetic who has been undergoing dialysis, was in the process of trying to get on a kidney transplant waiting list when Ronald died of a stroke. After some convincing from her husband, and a younger son, she agreed to save her own life with one of her son’s kidneys.

“I said no, but my husband and my youngest son said, ‘Mom, if this will help you, you need a kidney, why don’t you take one?’” Perry said.

She sounded conflicted about saying yes, at first saying she would not have done the same thing, but then seconds later saying she would have.

“If you asked me again, I would say no, but I’m grateful to know that I have a part of him with me. I mean, part of him will always be with me now,” she said.

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Perry said she’s grateful for her son’s gift, and hopes she lives another 50 years.

“He saved my life, and that obviously that was the reason for God to have taken him, or he would still be here. I gave him life, and he gave it back to me,” she said.

Mital said Perry was able to leave the hospital three days after successful kidney transplant surgery on May 17, and return home to Oak Forest.

“The kidney transplant worked beautifully. The kidney worked right away. It’s a good match,” she said.

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Mital said, after going home, Perry was able to attend her son’s funeral on May 22.