Preschool Teacher Recovers After Donating Kidney to Student: 'I Wanted to Give Lyla a Future'
A part of a Wisconsin preschool teacher will be with her student forever, thanks to a transplant surgery that saved the 5-year-old girl's life.
Preschool teacher Beth Battista and her student Lyla Carreyn, 5, are both recovering at a Madison hospital after a successful kidney transplant.
"It's night and day," Lyla's mom, Dena Carreyn, told InsideEdition.com. "She won't be hooked up to a machine for 12 hours a day, and be able to come and go as she pleases."
Battista said she had decided to become a living donor to the student at her school after hearing about Lyla’s year-long battle against a rare autoimmune disorder.
"I've always had a feeling that there was something more that I was supposed to do in my life,” Battista told InsideEdition.com.
Lyla was diagnosed with microscopic polyangiitis, and was on dialysis for 12 hours a day.
Despite her family's nationwide search for a match for Lyla, the results came back negative for a compatible donor. Because of multiple blood transfusions, it was more difficult to find an exact match for her, according to reports.
"She deserves a normal life, one where she can learn and explore, like any other 5-year-old," Battista explained. Inspired by Lyla's story, she decided to see if she was a match, and she was.
To break the good news to Carreyn, she wrote her a heartfelt 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.”
Ecstatic, the pair could be seen embracing over the good news in October.
Just months later, both Battista and Lyla are now well on their way to recovery.
While Lyla is still recovering at the hospital a week after the transplant, Battista 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."
To find out how to become a living donor, visit UW Health's website.