Wisconsin Preschool Teacher Donates Kidney To Her Student

Last October, Dena Carreyn’s 4-year-old daughter Lyla became suddenly ill. 

Dena shared with Babble that her daughter was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune-related vasculitis known as Microscopic Polyangiitis (MPA), which caused damaging kidney failure. After nine long months of treatment, it became apparent that Lyla desperately needed a kidney transplant. 

Dena and her family launched a nationwide search to find a compatible donor for Lyla and they hoped that someone, somewhere would be willing to help their little girl. Finally, Dena got the amazing news that Lyla’s preschool teacher, Beth Battista was a perfect match and would be donating her kidney to Lyla. 

The emotional moment was caught on video and later shared in a Facebook post on Dena’s page, where it has since gone viral. “Last Friday, I was called into Lyla’s school, Kids Express Learning Center,” Dena wrote in the September 15 post.

“I was told a new teacher was starting, and I needed to meet with her. You see, every time Lyla gets a new teacher, I have to train that person re: Lyla’s medical conditions, medications, etc. It’s a whole thing. So I show up at the school, and Lyla’s two current teachers are there, and they tell me the new teacher is on her way. And then they give me a present. And then this happened.”

ln the video, Dena is seated alongside school staff and presented with a box. Inside the box, she finds a note that tells her the incredible news: Beth is a perfect match and she’s going to be Lyla’s donor. 

Credit: Dena Carreyn/Facebook

Beth is Lyla’s preschool teacher and she wrote, “I may just be her teacher now, but soon a little piece of me will be with Lyla forever.” The note is signed, “I’m Lyla’s kidney donor.”

“When I opened the package and read the note, it took a moment to sink in,” Dena tells Babble. “As soon as I realized what was happening, I was elated. The feelings were very similar to what I experienced the day Lyla was born; Lyla is getting a second chance at life, thanks to Beth.”

Credit: Dena Carreyn

“I just had a feeling when I first heard about Lyla being sick,” she tells Babble. “It was something inside me that said I needed to get tested. After searching the entire country, it in a true miracle that I am her match. I feel blessed to be able to save her life and give her the future she deserves.”

Beth Battista is a wife and mother of two children and besides being a hero every day to her students, she has become Lyla’s greatest hero. 

Credit: Dena Carreyn

Now, months after the successful transplant, both Beth and Lyla are well on their way to recovery. While Lyla is still recovering at the hospital a week after the transplant, Beth was able to return home two days later. “48 hours of discomfort or pain is a small price to pay for saving somebody’s life,” Carreyn said. “I hope other people would be able to do it, and to save more lives.”

“Words cannot express the depth of my gratitude,” Dena tells Babble. “How do you possibly thank someone for saving your child’s life? Words are not enough. Beth will forever be a part of our family.”

Watch this video of Beth and Lyla below: 

To find out how to become a living donor, visit UW Health’s website. 

Have you or anyone you know donated an organ?

Let us know in the comments and please SHARE this heartwarming story with your friends and family on Facebook!

[Featured Image Credit: American Family Children’s Hospital]

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