Call it kismet. A New Braunfels, Texas, first-grade teacher at Hoffmann Elementary School is about to give one of her students the gift of a lifetime – a new kidney.
Lindsey Painter’s student, six-year-old Matthew Parker, has had failing kidneys darn near since birth. He’s suffered from the ailment since he was three weeks old. As a result, he’s on dialysis three times a week, leaving time for school only twice a week.
But after Parker’s body rejected a transplant recently, he was told by doctors that he only stood a 1 percent chance of locating another donor. As a result, a press conference was held by doctors at the University Transplant Center in San Antonio. Doctors in the press conference essentially begged for donors for Parker. Over 70 candidates were tested in the search, but miraculously, only Matthew Parker’s very own first-grade teacher, Lindsey Painter, came back as a match.
Upon learning of the news, Painter stated:
When it came back that I was a match, it was shocking. It did take a while to wrap my head around it, to think that I can do this, I can still live a normal life… and I get to make this amazing difference in Matthew’s life.
One kidney will be removed from Painter laproscopically around the Ides of March. If Parker’s body successfully accepts Painter’s kidney, he could be back to a healthy, normal life and in school full-time again by the end of the school year – just in time for Matthew to live out the dreams he’s had for years of going swimming, running and playing on the playground, and eating junk food.
With a clear awareness of Parker’s health issues, Hoffmann Elementary School principal Krista Moffatt decided to put him and his two brothers under Painter’s instruction because she felt the teacher’s caring nature lent itself well to their delicate family situation.
After getting to know the Parker triplets, Painter said of Matthew:
He just captures your heart from the second you meet him.
She’s literally the perfect match for Matthew. This act personifies her character as someone willing to perform a selfless deed, expecting nothing in return but to try and make a little boy she cares so much about well again.
Matthew’s mother, Lisa Parker, said of speaking with her son about it all:
I told him that God had put it in someone’s heart, they wanted to be a donor. I think they should know what a great person she is.
What a beautiful act of kindness, Mrs. Painter. Certainly, if anyone does, you deserve a grand “Teacher of the Year” award.