A young Missouri girl received a kidney donation she had needed since birth thanks to the generosity of her pre-kindergarten teacher.
Five-year-old Kayleigh Kulage was born prematurely at 26 weeks.
Because of her premature birth, she has had kidney problems since she was born that require her parents to set up nightly dialysis.
“If she didn’t have like these tubes on her or anything, you wouldn’t really know anything’s wrong with her,” Desiree, Kayleigh’s mother, told KTVI. “She never cries. She never complains about pain. She’s a happy kid. I couldn’t have been any luckier to have her.”
Robin Mach met Kayleigh a year and a half ago. She taught pre-k and was inspired to donate her kidney because she wanted to see her live a normal life.
“She was a student at our school. And then she had to receive some home services, so I got to do that. So, I’ve been working with Kayleigh for about a year and a half,” Mach said. “She needed it. I wanted her to have a normal life and go to school. And this is how we can help her get there.”
Both surgeries were successful, and Kayleigh’s donated kidney is working well.
Mach keeps in touch daily as she recovers, even offering to help do the family’s laundry and chauffeur her back and forth from the hospital as Kayleigh recuperates.
“She’s incredible. She was offering to do our laundry. And take me back and forth. And I’m like, ‘you just had major surgery. You need to go home and rest,” said Desiree. “I don’t know how to thank her. So, all I keep on saying is thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Mach is not the first teacher to donate her kidney to a young student.
In 2017, Inside Edition featured a teacher who generously donated her kidney to a five-year-old student with an autoimmune disorder causing kidney failure.