For Bryan Fisher and David Priestley, it isn’t just their careers as high school football coaches that make them kindred spirits, it’s their hearts. Literally.

As reported by news affiliate WSBT-22 , the two Indiana residents were both the not-so-proud owners of a failing heart — a severe enough health problem that it required them to obtain a new heart from a donor in order to stave off eventual death.

Fisher, the freshman football coach at Northridge High School, reached out for support on Facebook after finding out that he would need a heart transplant, and soon received a phone call from Priestley, himself the freshman football coach at Lakeland High School.

Fisher had been dealing with his own heart problems, and according to WANE , was about to undergo the same procedure that allowed Priestley to receive a ventricular assist device (VAD), which is used to support a failing heart for a short period of time until transplantation is possible.

“He helped me out after I had my LVAD surgery because he had his first,” Fisher told WANE. “He gave me some tips and really inspired me and let me know I could get back to a normal life after that surgery.”

That first conversation sparked a connection that has lasted to this day, and inspired the two men, along with the Indiana Donor Network, to host a football scrimmage between their respective schools this past Friday.

The Indiana Donor Network provided fans at the game information on the ins and outs of becoming an organ donor and even allowed them the chance to register.

“We need donors,” said Christy Fisher. “There are 1,400 people in the state of Indiana waiting for a donation.”

While Fisher became a heart transplant recipient this May, Priestley is still waiting for his chance at a new heart. In the meantime, the pair hopes that their story can inspire people to become donors.

“For me and him to be on the same field, but opposite sidelines, and to have gone through what we’ve both been through and we’re still here,” said Fisher. “We’re doing what we love to do.”