Florida Teacher Goes More Than Extra Mile With ‘Miracle’ Gift

January 6, 2018 Updated: January 6, 2018

When a good teacher notices something wrong with a pupil, they will go out of their way to resolve it, even if the cause is far beyond the walls of the classroom.

But elementary school teacher Donna Hoagland went more than that extra mile after she noticed a change in the behavior of one of her pupils.

In fact, she ended up donating one of her kidneys, bringing the family a Christmas “miracle.”

Hoagland teaches at Marsh Pointe Elementary in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

She told CBS how the story started when she had noticed that one of her 4th-grade pupils Troy Volk wasn’t his usual self.

“He was just shut down at times,” Hoagland said.

Wondering what the issue was, she contacted the boy’s mother, Anahita Volk, who explained that she had been in stage 5 kidney failure for the last year. She was in daily pain, and the prospect of finding a donor was made even harder by the fact that she was a rare blood type.

Then a few months later, Volk got a surprise phone call from Hoagland, who offered to donate one of her kidneys.

“I’m like, ‘what are you talking about?’ She turns around and she’s like, ‘we’re a match,'” Volk said.

Seeing her pupil suffering alongside his mother, Hoagland had wanted to help. She began to wonder if she could donate and had quietly spent months researching the possibility of becoming a donor, unknown to Volk and her son.

“To think what he must go through seeing his mom being sick all the time, it’s not fair,” Hoagland told CBS.

Amazingly, it turned out she shared the same blood type.

The transplant operation was carried over the Christmas vacation period, and Troy, whose mother is recovering well, described the kidney as a perfect gift — that can’t be wrapped.

“The one thing I love about my mom’s kidney transplant … is that we all get a gift,” Troy told CBS.  “It’s like a miracle. A perfect match is a miracle.”

Volk told CBS that she there was just no way to express her thanks in words. “You really can’t.”

A picture of herself and Hoagland in hospital after the operation, posted on Facebook, is emblazoned with one word: “blessed.”

 

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