The surgery was complicated. There were two side-by-side operating rooms, two doctors and two of everything else as a kidney was removed from Mackey and inserted into Welch.
The successful operation allowed Welch to return to work at the Schroon highway department, although he has since retired.
"It gave me my life back," Welch said.
Mackey is great believer in organ donation and hopes others will follow her example.
"I think people in small communities sometimes don't realize what they can do," she said. "They see someone on TV who is alive because they got an organ transplant and think it's a nice story. They don't realize those great stories can happen right here.
"John and I are a real success story right in Ti and Schroon Lake," Mackey added. "No complications, no problems."
Mackey urged people to sign the organ donor portion of their driver's license and to discuss the issue with family members.
"People can make a real difference for others," she said.
Welch agrees. He urged everyone to be an organ donor, knowing first-hand the benefits.
"My oldest daughter is an organ donor," he said. "It's right on her license. I'm really pleased about that."