A Maryland woman decided that her time would be best spent by doing something nice during the pandemic — so she decided to give her kidney to a complete stranger.
Linda Collins, a government worker from Takoma Park, donated her kidney to Kevin Webb, who has had stage 4 kidney disease.
After his diagnosis in 2014, Webb’s daily life changed. For two years he spent nine hours each day plugged into a machine to clean his blood and keep him alive.
The kidney donation was a potentially life-saving operation for Webb.
“It was mind boggling. It was life changing,” Webb said after receiving the new kidney this past Christmas. “There are no words to describe how amazing this moment is, how much I appreciate this generosity."
At the time, he didn’t know his kidney came from Collins.
“I was just thinking of my kidney as a little helper,” Collins said. “It'd been helping me, but now he's gonna go help someone else."
Outside George Washington Hospital on Wednesday, Webb and Collins met for the first time.
Both said that their recovery since the surgery was going well. Webb said he looks forward to getting back to work at his family’s restaurant in Petworth, and that Collins can eat there for free any time she wants.
Both want to raise awareness for organ donation and encourage others to give the gift of life as well.
"You just have so much empathy, kindness within you,” Webb told Collins. “And I’m honored. I’m honored that I have a little bit of you in me."