Teachers donate their time to students, their energy, and offer them a solid foundation of knowledge that some carry into adulthood. We all have that ‘special’ teacher that made a positive impact in our lives, with memories that have helped shape who we are today.
Yes, teachers are special people, but this story coming out of Wisconsin tops any average ‘sweet’ teacher story.
Natasha Fuller, 8 years old, is a female student who attends the Oakfield Elementary School. Her teacher recently gave her so much more than incredible school memories … she gave her a kidney.
Natasha had a rare birth defect known as prune belly syndrome, one that affects the urinary tract and creates frail abdominal muscles. The second grader was on a national donor list, waiting for a kidney transplant. While going to dialysis regularly, she also went to school, part-time of course, but the clock was ticking …
Enter Jodi Schmidt, Fuller’s teacher.
Jodi was not aware of the entire story around Natasha’s health issues, until she happened upon a Facebook post where her family was pleading via the social media platform, for a kidney. She made her decision driving home from work that day: she was going to get tested to see if she could be a match for her little, brave student.
And as it turns out, the teacher was a perfect match. The transplant surgery was performed in May, and the rest is history.
Post-surgery, the two held hands in the hospital. They forever share a special bond. As Natasha puts it, her teacher is now a part of her family. The eight-year-old adds that she ‘loves her a lot’.
CNN advises that prior to the transplant, Fuller was unable to participant in many things that other kids do on a daily basis and take for granted. She was not allowed to eat junk food – or even go for a swim.
Jodi now has the knowledge that Natasha will be able to live a happy, normal childhood. Schmidt states that it helped her knowing that she (Natasha) has healed and she will survive. She adds, ‘getting many good years’ from her kidney.