Mike donated his kidney to his wife, Peggy, after he began to fail as a result of polycystic kidney disease (PKD). The genetic condition causes cysts in the kidneys to develop, which often leads to kidney failure when the organ becomes too large.
"It was a gift," Peggy told CNN. "I don't think he has to give me another gift for the rest of my life. This was the best gift."
Peggy lost her own mother to the same disease, and her brother, who also inherited PKD, has reached stage three renal failure.
So, when Peggy's kidney was functioning with only 14 percent, he only had two options: undergo dialysis or receive a transplant.
A match in the sky
For those who are lucky enough to be on the national transplant list, it usually takes about seven years before finding a partner, and if you are an older person, that only if you can find a hospital willing to perform surgery on someone older 70 years old.
The other difficult part is finding someone who matches.
"We don't even think there was a chance that he was a direct match," Peggy, 74, told CNN. "If you bring babies from your husband, your blood has mixed and very often you develop antigens against that blood by having children. So we didn't even know it was a possibility."
When Mike checked both the blood type and the coincidence of six tissues with antigen, it was a true miracle. As it turned out, Mike was literally his perfect match, and he had been there all along.
The true romantic said he didn't have to think twice before giving up a kidney. Peggy is her soulmate, after all.
"We're different people, I'm from Mars and she from Venus, but our differences will always complement each other," said Mike.
High school boyfriends successfully underwent the transplant process at the Kidney Transplant Center at St. David & # 39; s North Austin Medical Center in Texas on November 12.
Peggy is now recovering and so far, her body is reacting well to her new kidney.
When it comes to the secret of their lasting romance, Mike says it's all about love.
"I think I'm really engaged now," said Mike. "We promised each other, in sickness and in health until death do us part, and that is how it will be. We are just trying to extend that death do us part as long as we can."