College student, 19, meets liver donor, 22, who stepped in to save her from ...

This is the heart-touching moment that a college student met the stranger who saved her life by donating part of his liver to her.

Madison Ricci, 19, from Hamden, Connecticut, was diagnosed with lupus when she was just 12 years old.

Despite being put on several medications, her condition began deteriorating to such an extent that she was told she would die unless she received a liver transplant. 

Her parents, Kristine and Todd, made a public appeal on Facebook, asking for help in finding a living donor who would be willing to help save their daughter.   

Jaelin Highsmith, from the nearby town of Meriden, saw the post and - even though he had never met Ricci - decided to get tested to see if he was a match.

After four months of testing, he was found to be a match and the pair underwent transplant surgery in December 2018.

Highsmith and Ricci communicated for months via text message but never met in person, so Good Morning America arranged a surprise meeting outside of Ricci's house on Tuesday morning. 

Madison Ricci, 19 (right), met Jaelin Highsmith, 22 (left), who saved her life by donating part of his liver to her, for the first time on Tuesday

Madison Ricci, 19 (right), met Jaelin Highsmith, 22 (left), who saved her life by donating part of his liver to her, for the first time on Tuesday

Ricci, from Hamden, Connecticut, was diagnosed with lupus at age 12. hsmith after surgery, right

Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body's immune system to attack its own tissues and organs. Pictured: Highsmith after surgery

Ricci, from Hamden, Connecticut, was diagnosed with lupus at age 12. Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body's immune system to attack its own tissues and organs. Pictured: Ricci after transplant surgery, left, and Highsmith after surgery, right 

As host TJ Holmes led Ricci outside and told her who was waiting for her, her mouth dropped open and she began crying.

The teenager ran into Highsmith's arm and said: 'I'm speechless. Thank you.'

Highsmith said he was happy that he was finally able to meet Ricci after months of communicating via text message.

'Unreal. That's the best way to describe it,' he said. 'It's been a long time in the making.'

Ricci was only 12 years old when she was diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disorder that causes the body's immune system to attack your own tissues and organs.

The internal inflammation can affect several different body parts including the skin, blood cells, kidneys and lungs.

In Ricci's cases, she also had an enlarged spleen, a low blood platelet count and was severely anemic, according to Facebook post by her mother. 

Lupus is often hard to diagnose the disease because the signs and symptoms can mimic other conditions including arthritis and fibromyalgia, a disease that causes pain and stiffness in the muscles and joint of which Lady Gaga is a known sufferer. 

According to the National Resource Center on Lupus, an estimated 1.5 million Americans live with the disease.

Among those suffering is singer Selena Gomez, who revealed her diagnosis in 2016.

However, the actual number may be higher because no large-scale study has ever been conducted on how many Americans have lupus. 

Ricci was prescribed several medications such as prednisone, which is an anti-inflammatory drug, in hopes it would decrease inflammation

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