Sick Student Gets Kidney Transplant From Teacher Who Surprised Family With Donor Match

Jodi Schmidt volunteered to be a kidney donor to her student in March.

— -- A Wisconsin girl is recovering after receiving a life-saving organ donation from her teacher earlier this week.

Natasha "Tasha" Fuller, 8, underwent kidney transplant surgery on Monday just months after her first-grade teacher Jodie Schmidt volunteered to be her donor. The girl had been on dialysis due to her poor kidney function.

Tasha's family shared a moving message about Schmidt in a statement released by the hospital.

“Thanks to Jodi’s amazing gift and support of her family, we are with Tasha as she recovers and gets stronger after the transplant," the family said in the statement on Tuesday. "Her doctors at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin say that everything went well and that we could not have asked for a better organ. We are so grateful for the outpouring of support our family has received, particularly from Oakfield Elementary staff and students, along with her friends and family in Grandfield, Oklahoma. Tasha looks forward to seeing you all as soon as she can."

When Schmidt announced she would be a donor, she invited Natasha's grandmother Chris Burelton to the school in March under a guise that the staff wanted to give her a gift for taking care of her granddaughter. She presented Burelton with a pink present with a message inside that she was a match to be a kidney donor for Natasha and the school taped the moment to share with the family.

"You? Oh my gosh!" Burelton says before bursting into tears in the video released by the school. "Here I thought she was coming to school because she was naughty."

Schmidt said in the video she felt she was the right person to donate. "I'm so excited," Schmidt says in the video. "I figured I'm O-negative blood and it did just come to me. I think we're all brought to a certain place and time for a reason."