Atlanta teacher donates kidney to 12-year-old student: ‘There is no greater gift’
A 12-year-old Grade 6 student is thankful after his own teacher decided to donate a much-needed kidney.
Kaden Koebcke of Atlanta went into surgery on Aug. 14, after a year-long search for a kidney donor. For his teacher William Wilkinson, Koebcke’s story hit close to home.
“My son was actually in kidney failure when he was two and a half,” he told Fox News 5. “So, I remember being in that position as a parent wanting someone to help.”
He added his son and Koebcke also became friends.
On Facebook, Koebcke’s parents started a donor search as well as a page dedicated to their son’s health updates. Recently, the couple wrote about Koebcke’s condition following his surgery.
“We wanted to give a quick update. Kaden had a great day today. His urine output continues to be great, and we are so thankful for that. His lab results continue to get better and better. Not where they need to be, but the numbers continue to go in the right direction,” the post noted.
“He will continue to get his plasmapheresis treatments daily to fight off any re-occurrence. We are hoping to leave the ICU in a few days and go to the transplant floor for the rest of his recovery.”
They also added Wilkinson was doing “amazing” — he started walking and spent time sitting in his chair. “There is even talk of him going home tomorrow! We are so happy to hear he is doing well,” they wrote on Wednesday.
Speaking with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Cami Koebcke, Kaden’s mother, said she was grateful for her son’s teacher.
“There are no words to even begin to describe how this is making me feel for Will to give this amazing gift to my son,” she told the site. “There is no greater gift.”
She added while Wilkinson was originally an anonymous donor, he decided to surprise her family with the news at the end of the school year.
“We were all so shocked. We almost fell to the floor,” she continued.
Kidney donors in Canada
According to The Kidney Foundation of Canada, anyone who is healthy can be a living donor. “The age of consent to be a living donor varies from 16 to 19 depending on the province in which you live. They must be in good general health with no evidence of significant high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, heart disease or hepatitis.”
The site adds like any major surgery, there are risks involved with donating a kidney, but they are usually manageable.
“Short-term risks include pneumonia, infection, pain and discomfort, allergic reaction to anesthesia, collapsed lung or blood clots. Rarely, death occurs.”
If you want to become a donor, start with figuring out your blood type.
“Contact the transplant centre that is taking care of the potential recipient to arrange testing to confirm whether your blood type is compatible. From there, the transplant centre staff will lead you through the process,” the site notes.
“You can change your mind at any time during the process, and your decision will be respected by the health-care team. They’ll also help you communicate your decision to the potential recipient.”
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