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Teacher Donates Kidney to Student: 'Praise God Almighty for Never Leaving or Forsaking Us!'

05-17-2018
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Watch Alana Brown's interview with CBN's Charlene Aaron about the miracle story behind her daughter's illness

Ten-year-old Eva Brown of Reynoldsburg, Ohio was in dire need of a kidney when a teacher she never met stepped in.

Tanya Thomas, a teacher at Slate Ridge Elementary School, offered to donate her kidney to Eva.

"I simply wanted to thank an amazing woman for a selfless act of love and kindness," Alana Brown, Eva's mother, told ABC News. "I had no idea so many people would care. She is truly an incredible person."

Eva, a fourth grader at Slate Ridge, has a rare disease called collapsing FSGS and needs a kidney transplant. Doctors said her kidney is functioning at only 4 percent.

"Eva was a perfectly healthy eight-year-old," Brown told CBN News. "It was two weeks before her 9th birthday. We went out for Japanese food and about thirty minutes after eating, her face just started swelling shut -- rushed to the urgent care, thinking she was having an allergic reaction, and they treated her."

"We went home. Forty-five minutes later it happened, this time we rushed to Nationwide Children's Hospital. They kept her for observation. Next day it happened again and that's when we discovered this wasn't just an allergic reaction."

Her condition is life-threatening and she been on dialysis since August of last year and must take up to 30 pills a day.

No one in her family is a match for a kidney, so her family prayed for a miracle.

Brown, a devout Christian, said Eva's health crisis has been a test of her faith. 

"I'll be honest, the day that we got the diagnosis, it was gut-wrenching, heartbreaking and I have very strong faith, or I did before that moment, and I literally had a conversation with God and I basically had a breakdown. And I said 'I have one mustard seed left. You said if I held onto one mustard seed, you'd make everything ok. I'm giving you my last mustard seed. I need you to show me something,'" Brown told CBN News, "And I didn't know at that time, I just tried to hold on, but I'll be honest it was very hard. But little by little he showed me 'I am God.' And sometimes God has to remind us of that, of his power. We get so used to things being good that we forget that just waking up in the morning is a blessing. Just drawing breath is a miracle. So he reminded me that he is God and that he has us."

A family friend then posted Eva's urgent need on Facebook.

Not long after the plea went out, many responded to the request, including Thomas.

"Who knew that a teacher at her school who is not even her teacher would answer a Facebook post," said Brown.  "What stranger helps somebody they don't know?"

Brown, a devout Christian, often posts scriptures and inspirational quotes on Facebook. She was not aware that Thomas was a teacher at her daughter's school.

Thomas got tested and learned she was a perfect match.

"I kind of just have that feeling of hey I've got two, I'll give one. No sweat off my back," said Thomas. 

Thomas and little Eva finally met and the transplant has been scheduled for next month. Brown said Thomas has taught her there really are angels among us.

"She's such a woman of faith, said Brown. "And it was her faith and her gift that restored mine. God sent her not only to be a blessing for my daughter but to remind me that he has his hand in everything we do."

Meanwhile, Eva is not out of the woods yet. Brown is asking for continued prayer for her daughter and for Thomas.

"Please pray for my baby," she said in a Facebook post. She's been in the hospital and unable to eat or drink since Friday. Please pray they are able to easily solve the problem in time for her to successfully have her transplant at the end of this month. I also ask that you pray for her incredible donor! I praise God Almighty for never leaving or forsaking us!"

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