Madison Preschool Teacher Gives the Gift of Life to Student

Reviewed by Mary McLaughlin, M.S. SpEd

A Madison, Wisconsin preschool teacher, who has given the gift of learning for the past 11 years, is now giving the gift of life to one of her students. Beth Battista, a teacher at the Kids Express Learning Center, has chosen to donate a kidney to four-year-old Lyla Carreyn, who is one of her students.

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Lyla first showed symptoms of her illness last October at school. Her mother, Dena Carreyn, picked her up and took her to urgent care. Mother and child were carried away in an ambulance and taken to Children’s Hospital a mere fifteen minutes after arriving at the urgent care. Lyla was diagnosed with renal failure and her mother realized she was in for a long, hard fight.

Lyla currently receives 10-12 hours of dialysis every night due to her kidney failure. Her family immediately began searching for a kidney donor at which time Battista decided that she should get tested to see if she was a match. “Something inside of me, there’s just a feeling I can’t explain it that I needed to do this, so I made the call,” she said.

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After going through the required testing, Battista found out that she was indeed a match for little Lyla. Battista believes it was a miracle that put Lyla in her classroom.

Battista invited Lyla’s mother to the school on the pretense of meeting a new teacher, but instead handed her a note. “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 said that, that day was one of the most emotional she had ever experienced, ranking with the day she married and the births of her two children.

The transplant schedule is being confirmed by doctors but should take place within the next few months.

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