A Minnesota elementary school teacher donates kidney to her school’s custodian

By Kelsie Smith for CNN

Third-grade teacher Erin Durga says chills ran through her body the moment she learned a school custodian needed a kidney donation. She had an unshakable feeling that she would be the match to save him.Durga and school custodian Pat Mertens started working at Kimball Elementary School in Kimball, Minnesota, in the same year, 2011.For the past nine years, their families have been well acquainted. Durga’s children called Mertens “Papa” as they grew up in his wife’s daycare.It was known at the school that Mertens was on dialysis, given that the 64-year-old left school for treatment three days a week.

The school community organized a “Hats for Pat” fundraiser on January 31 to help pay for Mertens transportation to dialysis. But no one knew the severity of his health woes until his daughter, Kayla Matten, posted a plea for a kidney donor to social media that night.

“We are now in the process of trying to find someone with an O blood type and someone who is willing to donate their kidney,” Matten wrote in a Facebook post.In 2017, doctors diagnosed Mertens with congestive heart and kidney failure. His kidneys were functioning at 12 percent. And due to his blood type, Mertens could wait as much as five years for a deceased donor transplant, according to M Health Fairview, the hospital that performed the surgery.”Some family has been tested and unfortunately they are not the same blood type or have other health issues that restrict them from donating,” Matten wrote. “We know what prayer can do, and getting the word out there.”Durga says she saw the post and without hesitation decided she would be the one to help.

Read more here.

Help your child learn to read with Reading Kingdom. Sign up today for a free 30 day trial.