Wisconsin first grader Natasha Fuller will no longer be in renal failure thanks to her teacher Jodi Schmidt, who is donating one of her kidneys to the girl.
“It truly just came to me after I did a lot of thinking and praying,” Schmidt said. She called her husband. “I told him, ‘Rich, I want to give a student one of my kidneys’.”
Although Natasha has been waiting for a kidney donor for years, infections have repeatedly bumped her off the wait list.
The 8-year-old was born with prune belly syndrome which has caused complications leading to a need for regular kidney dialysis. Natasha has spent the last two years living with her grandparents, Chris and Mark Burleton, in order to be closer to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin for specialized care, but her condition had worsened.
After undergoing medical tests to confirm that her kidney was a match, Schmidt met with the school’s principal to come up with a special way to tell Natasha’s grandmother her plan.
“We gave her a gift box, and under the tissue paper was a card with the words: ‘It’s a match,’ ” Schmidt said.
Doyle took a video of Natasha’s grandmother opening the box.
“I just lost it,” Chris Burleton said. “You could never tell this little girl has three tubes in her, she doesn’t let it faze her. She is happy and sassy, and she just wants to lead a normal life, and do things like go swimming.”
Later, everyone cried when Doyle showed the video in a staff meeting.
“Jodi is extremely passionate, full of life and energy, and does everything 150%, ” Doyle said. “She told me that she knows she is here to do more. She is always looking for ways to serve others.”
Natasha currently has an infection, but if she recovers from it by March 21st, a date for the transplant will be established.