Teacher donates kidney
According to media reports Friday, third-grade teacher Jodi Schmidt gave a student the gift of life after learning eight-year-old Natasha Fuller needed a kidney.
As reported by ABC, Grandmother Chris Burelton thought she was being called in to the principal’s office because the child had done something wrong.
But Schmidt, who had never met the grandmother, handed Burelton a box.
“We just wanted to give you a gift, just for how hard you work to keep [Natasha] here,” Schmidt said. “We appreciate everything you do.”
Burelton can be seen in a video pulling apart tissue paper. Suddenly, she reaches a message at the bottom of the box that reads “It’s a match!”
The video, captured by the Oakfield Elementary School District, shows the women crying and embracing each other, before they present the same present to the little girl, who doesn’t grasp the situation, but hugs the teacher anyway.
The first grader was diagnosed with prune belly syndrome at birth, causing her to need dialysis three times a week. She currently lives with her grandparents in Oakfield, Wisconsin so she can be closer to the medical treatment she needs, FDLReporter said.
Fuller has been waiting for a kidney for years, but because she has had various infections, she was repeatedly taken off the transplant list. She is currently experiencing renal failure.
As the child was undergoing her final stages of dialysis, Schmidt decided to have herself tested as a possible kidney donor, even though she had never taught Natasha.
Schmidt confided in school principal Becky Doyle.
They “kept it from the staff and family up until February, when she got the call she was a perfect match,” Doyle told InsideEdition.com.
The gesture mirrors Schmidt’s school bio: “Know that I will give your child my absolute 100% dedication, passion, energy, sweat, and tears!”
Not the first deal to donate kidney
In 2015, Lisa Parker emailed her triplets’ first-grade teacher to let her know the boys would be missing school.
The family was holding a press conference that day in San Antonio, Texas, to help 6-year-old Matthew Parker, who was a match only with one percent of the U.S. population, to find a kidney donor.
The teacher, Lindsey Painter, decided to sign up to be tested herself – and was a perfect match.
“I feel lucky,” Painter, a 34-year-old mother of 10-year-old and 6-year-old boys who lives and teaches in New Braunfels, Texas, tells PEOPLE.