WI girl recovering after teacher donates kidney

Posted at 11:52 AM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 13:36:11-04

MILWAUKEE -- The Wisconsin first grader who needed a donor to overcome her chronic kidney disease is now recovering after a successful transplant, thanks to the selflessness of her elementary school teacher.

Eight-year-old Natasha Fuller and her teacher Jodi Schmidt were both in surgery Tuesday, and Children's Hospital reports that the transplant went perfectly according to plan.

Natasha's family issued a statement thanking all involved for their inspiring support:

“Thanks to Jodi’s amazing gift and support of her family, we are with Tasha as she recovers and gets stronger after the transplant. 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."

The Fullers also ask to consider adding your name to the Wisconsin Donor Registry for all the other children currently waiting for organs.

The girl's smile and attitude, in spite of her chronic kidney disease, inspired her teacher to get tested months ago for a possible donation. Schmidt said Natasha has been an inspiration at school because her illness and frequent travel for dialysis haven't dampened her upbeat spirit and talkative nature.

Natasha was born with prune belly syndrome, which has required kidney dialysis in recent years. She lives with her grandparents in Oakfield so she can get the specialized treatment she needs at Children's Hospital in metro Milwaukee, about 70 miles away. Her parents and siblings, including her twin Brookelynn, live in Oklahoma.