Oakfield Elementary School teacher Jodi Schmidt loved seeing eight-year-old Natasha Fuller’s bright smile and bubbly attitude as she bopped down the hallway at school. Ms. Schmidt, a mom of three, had no idea that despite the little girl’s positive outlook and sweet demeanor, Natasha’s health was quickly deteriorating.
Natasha was born with prune belly syndrome, a condition that causes urinary tract disease and ultimately requires a new kidney. Natasha had been traveling to the hospital three times a week for dialysis but had fallen into renal failure and desperately needed a kidney.
Not only was Natasha facing a bleak future, she was separated from her twin sister Brookelynn, who lived in Oklahoma with their parents. Natasha had been staying with her grandparents Chris and Mark Burleton in Wisconsin for two years now so she could receive specialized care at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
Because Natasha regularly experienced infections, she kept getting bumped off the transplant list. When Ms. Schmidt learned of Natasha’s life-threatening plight, she felt compelled to do something.
She consulted her husband and kids, then secretly had herself tested to see if she was a match to Natasha. Ms. Schmidt decided to approach Natasha and her grandmother at school regarding what she had learned.
She invited them to her classroom and her news was captured in the video below. When Ms. Schmidt slid a hot pink gift box topped with a neon green bow over in front of Chris, Grandma was startled.
She thought she was there to talk about Natasha’s health or grades. Grandma looked inside the box and immediately felt a pang in her chest as tears streamed down her face.
She could not believe what the teacher had written on a piece of paper nestled inside the box. Even sweeter is what happens when Natasha is called into the office and given the same box.
Watch their reactions to this true gift of life in the video below. It’ll bring a tear to your eye, too.