We used to be happy if our teachers let us have five more minutes of recess. Beth Battista just set the bar a whole lot higher for preschool teachers by donating a kidney to one of her students. Like you do. If she’s not Teacher of the Year, well, we’d be hard-pressed to come up with a better candidate.
Five-year-old Lyla Carreyn was diagnosed with a very rare autoimmune disorder, which caused kidney failure. Her teacher, Battista, immediately stepped up and volunteered to donate one of hers — which turned out to be a perfect match for Lyla.
Don’t worry, the kidney transplant was not an in-class project performed with Elmer’s glue and safety scissors. The transplant went off without a hitch this year in a Madison, Wisconsin, hospital, and teacher and student are both recovering well from the procedure.
Battista pretty much melted our cynical hearts in an interview segment with Inside Edition in which she said she just wanted to help Lyla escape a life full of dialysis and hospital stays. “I’ve always had a feeling that there was something more that I was supposed to do in my life,” she said.
Well played, Ms. Battista.
The family had actually searched long and hard with no luck for a kidney donor. Battista found out she was a match and decided to surprise Lyla’s mom, Dena Carreyn, with the offer of her kidney. The video of Carreyn getting the news could make rocks weep — we’re just warning you. Maybe have a tissue or two on hand just in case you feel an ugly cry coming on. Not that, you know, we did or anything.
Carreyn told Today, “It took a minute to sink in… I was just so overwhelmed. I felt very similar to the day when my daughter was born because it was that sense of elation and being so excited and relieved.”
Ms. Battista, you’re amazing. Now please excuse us while we go ponder the meaning and purpose of our lives and go help a little old lady cross the street. Or rescue a kitten out of a tree.