Students thank their teachers for the patience, care and inspiration. But an 8-year-old girl from Wisconsin thanks her teacher for saving her life with an organ donation.
Natasha Fuller was suffering from chronic kidney disease. Prior to a life-saving kidney transplant earlier this week, Natasha needed regular dialysis because of her poorly functioning kidney.
In March, Jodi Schmidt, Natasha's first-grade teacher at the Oakfield Elementary, volunteered to donate her kidney to the little girl.
The doctors found that the kidney was a perfect match, which fueled the Fuller's hope for their daughter's future.
The successful kidney transplant was completed last May 24 at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and Natasha is recovering well after the operation.
"Thanks to Jodi's amazing gift and support of her family, we are with Tasha as she recovers and gets stronger after the transplant," the Fullers said in a statement released by the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin on Facebook.
The staff at Oakfield Elementary also showed great support to the Fullers. They even went the extra mile with Schmidt's announcement about her donation.
In March, the grade school teacher invited Chris Burelton, Natasha's grandmother, to school. At first, they told her the staff wanted to present her a small gift for helping the family take care of Natasha.
Schmidt gave the grandmother a gift with a note inside that said that the teacher's own kidney is a perfect match of Natasha's. The staff even filed the event and shared it with the Fullers.
"You? Oh my gosh! Here I thought she was coming to school because she was naughty," said Burelton in the video before she burst out crying.
Schmidt said she is thrilled that her student is recovering well. The teacher also said that she hopes their story can inspire other people to consider becoming an organ donor. The Fullers are also encouraging people to become organ donors.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, there were 121,678 people in the United States waiting for life-saving organ transplants as of January 11 this year. Among these patients, 100,791 were waiting for kidney transplants.