In an extraordinary act of kindness, a high school teacher has decided to donate a kidney to a student, inspiring others with his compassionate gesture.
Teachers, the unsung heroes of education, often make significant sacrifices for the sake of their students. With unwavering dedication, they go beyond their call of duty, investing countless hours and personal resources to ensure the success and well-being of their students. In a remarkable display of compassion and generosity, an Ohio math teacher is preparing to make a life-changing donation to one of his high school students.
Eddie McCarthy, an esteemed educator at Whitmer High School in Toledo, Ohio, not only imparted valuable maths lessons to Roman McCormick during their time together in the classroom, but he will now also save his life by donating an organ. Roman's parents have placed their hope in McCarthy's selflessness, as they believe one of his kidneys will help him live his teenage life to the fullest.
Roman, a sophomore in high school, faces the challenges of living with Branchiootorenal or BOR syndrome. This uncommon hereditary disorder impacts tissue development and can lead to malformations in the ears and kidneys. As stated by the National Institutes of Health, BOR syndrome presents a complex set of health issues for individuals affected by it. Speaking to Good Morning America, Roman said, "I'm not able to eat foods that most normal kids will be able to. I'm not able to be more [physically] active because [my] kidneys are slowing down my physical activity."
The condition also leaves him tired throughout the day. Jamie Redd, Roman's mother, provided insight into the intricacies of BOR syndrome, stating, "It's spelled B-O-R, and you can have the B, the O, or the R. With Roman, he has the B and the R. We didn't know that his father had it until Roman was diagnosed with it. And then his father had a kidney transplant [last year]. They both had the R, which is 'renal'... The B is for 'branch', so like, [Roman] had a hole in his chest and two holes in the sides of his ears. They were like divot size holes in the sides of his ears that he had surgery at six months to correct and fix."
Roman McCormick, 15, was diagnosed with BOR syndrome when he was 12 months old. And now, his geometry teacher is stepping up to help change his life. https://t.co/v5NuFRSYss— WTOL 11 (@WTOL11Toledo) July 13, 2023
As the progression of BOR syndrome continued, Roman's condition deteriorated, eventually resulting in stage 4 kidney disease. It became apparent that without a donor and kidney transplant, Roman would require dialysis to sustain his health. With this challenging situation, Roman's parents, Jamie Redd and Dan McCormick decided to seek external assistance. In February, they reached out to others hoping to find a suitable donor and offer their son a chance at receiving a life-saving kidney transplant. Redd said, "Our goal was to get a live donor because a kidney from a live donor will last longer than from a deceased donor." Upon encountering Roman's story five months ago, McCarthy quickly decided to take action.
Without dwelling on it for long, he promptly got tested to determine if he could be a suitable donor for Roman's kidney transplant. For the kidney donation to proceed, McCarthy and Roman needed the same blood type, which, in this instance, happened to be O positive. Furthermore, various additional steps had to be taken to ensure the compatibility and success of the transplant procedure. The much-anticipated kidney donation and transplant surgeries are scheduled for July 19 at the University of Michigan University Hospital in Ann Arbor. As a parent himself, McCarthy empathizes with McCormick and Redd, understanding the challenges and emotions they must have experienced.