An art teacher in Missouri did not hesitate to donate her kidney when she heard that the mother of one of her students needed one.
41-year-old Misty Byrd has been teaching at Wilder Elementary in Mansfield for eight years, and taught fifth grader Fisher Croney since she was in kindergarten.
Byrd knew Fisher’s mother Shannon Croney as an acquaintance, and had heard of Croney’s health problems but did not know the full details.
She came across a Facebook post from Croney’s mother around Christmas of 2019 and learned that they are in need of a kidney; she did not hesitate to pick up the phone and offered hers.
“She was O negative, and I’m O negative. I don’t know; I didn’t really think about it. I just called her kidney coordinator and went from there,” said Byrd.
Croney found out about her health condition from routine blood test done in January 2019, when it revealed that her kidneys were functioning only at a 20% level and is in stage five renal failure.
She had undergone biopsy and a string of tests, but the doctors could not figure what caused her kidneys to fail and had to begin dialysis.
Fast forward March, the doctors confirmed that Croney and Byrd was a match, and were even surprised that the two were such a close match even if they were not related.
In June, the doctors cleared Byrd for surgery.
“Actually, I had a strong sense of peace, like I was doing what I was supposed to do,” Byrd said, comparing the pain from the procedure with having a C-section.
Both are now doing well, with Croney describing that she is feeling better than she has in years, while Byrd is still dealing with exhaustion and fatigue as her remaining kidney grows and adapts.
The women are now helping another member of their community who is in need of a kidney transplant.