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Preschool Teacher Donates Kidney To Save Student

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uwhealth.org

Students receive all kinds of help and guidance from their teachers, but one preschool teacher in Wisconsin went above and beyond for one of her students. She donated one of her kidneys to give her student a chance at life.

Five-year-old Lyla Carreyn has a rare autoimmune disease called microscopic polyangiitis, or MPA. It can cause harm to several organ systems, including the kidneys. The disease forced Lyla to suffer through 12 hours of kidney dialysis every day.

Multiple blood transfusions made it more difficult to find a potential donor, forcing Lyla’s family to embark a nationwide search in search of a perfect match.

But as it turns out, they didn’t need to look any further than Lyla’s classroom. Lyla’s teacher, Beth Battista, turned out to be a match.

When she found out about Lyla’s battle with MPA, there was little hesitation in Battista wanting to be her organ donor. “I’ve always had a feeling that there was something more that I was supposed to do in my life,” Battista says.

It was fortuitous that Battista turned out to be a match, and when she found out, she wrote her student a little note to let her know.

“I may just be her teacher now, but soon a little piece of me will be with Lyla forever. I’m Lyla’s kidney donor,” Battista wrote to Lyla and her family.

“It is truly the universe coming together to make something really special happen,” says Lyla’s mom, Dena Carreyn. “We will be connected forever. She is her teacher for this year but she will be a part of our family for the rest of our lives.”

The pair found out in October that Battista was a match and would become a donor. The surgery was performed last week and was a great success.

Lyla will need to spend a few weeks in the hospital recovering, but Battista was discharged two days after the surgery and is feeling fine. Best part of all is that Lyla’s life will be drastically different with her new kidney.

“It’s night and day,” says Carreyn. “She won’t be hooked up to a machine for 12 hours a day, and be able to come and go as she pleases.”

Battista has no regrets about giving up one of her kidneys for one of her students. “She deserves a normal life,” she says. “One where she can learn and explore, like any other 5-year-old.”