HOWLAND TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKBN)- There were 25,000 kidney transplants in America last year. The most ever. One of those involved a Trumbull County man.

Mike Dailey, of Howland, learned that Linda Liberator, of North Carolina, gave him his kidney, but never met her until today. It was their first meeting, and they wanted WKBN 27 First News there to share their story with you.

Mike and Linda were on the same floor of University Hospital in September when Linda donated a kidney to him — a complete stranger.

“It’s like a life-changing situation. I’m meeting someone that gave me part of her life to save my life,” Mike said.

Mike was on a kidney transplant list for nearly five years. In August, he was golfing and got a call that a kidney was available. Linda’s son also needed a kidney, but it ended up going to Mike.

“I was actually my son’s perfect match, but he’s a lot younger than I am. That’s how we ended up with the NKR (National Kidney Registry). They wanted to do a fair donation,” Linda said.

Linda is 67, Mike is 76. She sent Mike a card explaining why she chose him. He wrote her back, and they’ve been talking ever since. The night before the donation, Linda cried on the way to the hospital.

“I am going to change someone’s life. I am going to give them back their life,” she said.

Recovery for both of them has been quick. Linda ran a 10K recently.

Mike and Linda have similar bubbly personalities. They’re both going to enjoy every second of life and plan on staying in touch, forever.

“Absolutely. we’ll have a 1 year anniversary too,” Mike said.

“This is just the beginning,” Linda said.

Linda’s son has also received a kidney donation, and he’s doing well.

By the way, 70% of people who donate a kidney are women.