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When the family of a 6-year-old Texas boy found out he needed a kidney transplant, they scoured the country for a match. Little did they know, that person was right in front of them all along. Of the more than 80 people who signed up as potential living organ donors for first-grader Matthew Parker, it was his teacher who turned out to be the person who could save his life, according to the University Transplant Center in Bexar County.
"When they asked for people to volunteer to be tested, I was the first one to sign up. I was shocked when I received the phone call that I was a preliminary match," Hoffman Lane first-grade teacher Lindsey Painter said, according to the school. Painter went through several more tests. Matthew's family was shocked — and delighted — when the hospital found she was a perfect match for their son, whose vital organ was failing. "The nurse at the hospital said we had to be realistic,” said Lisa Parker, Matthew’s mother. “The term, ‘needle in a haystack,’ was used several times,” she said, according to the school.
Fortunately, sometimes the needle is right in sight. Matthew is grateful. “When I found out Mrs. Painter was a match I went up and gave her a big hug,” Matthew said. The surgeries are scheduled for March, according to the school.
— Elisha Fieldstadt