Most people have a story or two about teachers who really gave of themselves.
But, Natasha Fuller’s most likely trumps everyone’s.
Her teacher, Jodi Schmidt, gave her a kidney.
Fuller is an 8-year-old, a student at Oakfield Elementary School in Wisconsin.
She suffered from prune belly syndrome, a rare birth defect marked by urinary tract problems and weak abdominal muscles.
For the brave 2nd grader, the clock was ticking.
Fuller 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
Schmidt did not know the extent of Fuller’s problem until she stumbled upon a Facebook post.
Fuller’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” Fuller said about the teacher.
Many good years ahead
Before the kidney transplant, Fuller 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,” Schmidt said.
Over the summer, Fuller 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 Fuller grows up, her tastes may become more sophisticated.
But, one thing won’t change: that unique bond with her lifesaving teacher.