By writer to www.yahoo.com
From the time she was born, 5-year-old Kayleigh Kulage’s life has been full of surgical procedures, dialysis and physician’s appointments.
The Pacific, Missouri pre-schooler was born untimely at 26 weeks and, after spending greater than 150 days in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), was recognized with partial blindness, a compromised immune system and failing kidneys which have required 11 hours of dialysis remedy daily, amongst different well being points.
Kayleigh’s dad and mom Josh and Desiree Kulage had been determined to seek out their daughter a brand new kidney — and when she lastly reached the minimal top and weight necessities to obtain a transplant in October, a attainable donor got here from probably the most sudden place: Kayleigh’s classroom.
Desiree Kulage Kayleigh smiles along with her dad and mom Josh and Desiree
Robin Mach, an early childhood particular schooling instructor, had been educating Kayleigh for greater than two years. When she came upon Kayleigh wanted a kidney transplant, she “did not assume twice” about providing up her organ, Mach tells PEOPLE forward of Trainer Appreciation Week, which begins Monday.
“I simply requested Desiree at some point, as a result of I knew Kayleigh actually wanted it, so I assumed, ‘Why not attempt?'” Mach, 46, says.
Mach describes Kayleigh as a “spunky, energetic” youngster, including, “It is actually enjoyable being her instructor.”
One of many challenges Kayleigh confronted in receiving a transplant was discovering a kidney sufficiently small for her physique, as she is small for her age, weighing in at 26 lbs. and standing at about 2 ft, 10 inches tall, in accordance with her mom, Desiree.
Mach, in the meantime, is below 5 ft tall. After roughly three months of exams and what Kulage calls “a rollercoaster of feelings,” medical doctors accredited the instructor to be Kayleigh’s donor.
“I used to be so relieved and excited after I came upon as a result of Kayleigh’s kidney was coming from somebody we knew,” Kulage, 34, tells PEOPLE.
In February, Kayleigh and Mach underwent a profitable six-hour kidney transplant at joint hospitals in St. Louis. Robin had her surgical procedure first at Saint Louis College Hospital to take away the kidney, which was then rushed to Kayleigh at Cardinal Glennon Kids’s Hospital by way of underground tunnel.
Robin Mach Robin Mach earlier than her transplant surgical procedure
Kulage says Kayleigh has recovered nicely from the surgical procedure and was “shifting and grooving to go” as quickly as she awakened.
“She’s an especially resilient child — she likes to level to her scar and exhibit her new kidney,” she provides.
Although she does not but perceive that her new kidney got here from “Miss Robin,” Kulage provides that Mach is certainly one of Kayleigh’s favourite folks.
“She sees her as her playtime buddy,” she says.
Mach felt sore for just a few weeks following the surgical procedure however stresses that it was a easy restoration.
“I do not assume folks notice how straightforward it’s to donate [an organ], so I hope by sharing our story, extra folks will take into consideration doing it,” she notes.
Robin Mach Robin Mach was acknowledged as a “Constructing Trainer of the 12 months” by the Meramec Valley R-III Faculty District in Missouri
Kayleigh’s well being has drastically improved following the surgical procedure, in accordance with Kulage. She’s not tethered to her dialysis machine each evening, the colour is returning to her cheeks and she will be able to now take lengthy baths earlier than mattress. The Kulages are even planning their first household trip.
Kulage says she’ll “by no means discover the precise phrases” to thank Mach.
“Donating a kidney actually is exceptional, it saves folks’s lives and offers them a greater high quality of life,” she provides.
The Pacific, Missouri neighborhood has rallied round them all through the transplant course of. The Doris Hoffman Early Childhood Middle, the place Mach works, raised cash to assist the Kulages pay their medical payments and designed t-shirts with Mach and Kayleigh’s names on it to indicate assist.
As for Mach, she does not think about her actions heroic — simply a part of her job as a instructor.
“If a child wants a backpack or sneakers at college, I get them the backpack or sneakers,” she says. “It is type of the identical factor … Kayleigh wanted a kidney, and no matter she wants, I will give it to her.”
— to www.yahoo.com