Teacher donates kidney to young student - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Teacher donates kidney to young student

(WWBT/CNN) -

Many people have a story or two to share about teachers who really left a lasting impression on their life. But Natasha Fuller’s most likely trumps everyone’s.

In a report shared by NBC affiliate WBAL-TV, young Natasha’s teacher Jodi Schmidt gave her a kidney.

She suffered from prune belly syndrome, a rare birth defect marked by urinary tract problems and weak abdominal muscles.

For the brave second-grader, the clock was ticking.

Natasha endured regular dialysis as she waited on the national donor list, desperately hoping for a kidney transplant.

Through it all, she attended school part-time with a bright smile.

A happenstance discovery

Teacher Schmidt did not know the extent of Natasha's problem until she stumbled upon a Facebook post. Natasha's family was pleading for a kidney.

On the drive home from work, she made her decision.

"I didn't think anything of it," Schmidt told CNN. "Then it totally just hit me, and I told myself I'm going to get tested for it."

Schmidt was a perfect match. Doctors performed the transplant in May.

After the surgery, teacher and student held hands in the hospital.

"She's part of my family. I love her a lot" said Natasha about the teacher.

Many good years ahead

Before the kidney transplant, Natasha could not participate in a lot of things regular kids do. She didn't swim or eat junk food.

"It helped me knowing that she truly is healed and she'll survive and get many, many good years from my kidney," Jodi said.

Over the summer, she splashed around at her first pool party and ate things like chocolate.

"I do like Chocolate M&Ms and Kit Kats. Kit Kats are my favorite," she said.

As Natasha grows up, her tastes may become more sophisticated.

But one thing won't change, that unique bond with her lifesaving teacher.

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