When we were little, keeping a secret was quite a task! Just like the rest four-year-olds, Camden Petersen could not stop thinking about his dad and his health condition. Camden’s secret was that his father was very ill, and he was very concerned about him. One day, the boy’s teacher overheard him talking about it, and she made a mind-blowing decision. Before we carry on with their story, get some tissues first because you will surely need them!
Let’s find out the entire story, and how this little boy and his teacher saved his father’s life…
20. NANCY BLEUER, THE PRESCHOOL TEACHER
Nancy Bleuer is a 54-year-old Iowa native who went to Buena Vista University. She majored in elementary education and then became a preschool teacher at Washington Charlie Brown Preschool & Childcare. She was all about giving back to her community but always felt like she could do more.
Soon enough, she would achieve that goal, thanks to a 4-year-old boy.
19. MISS NANCY
The preschoolers call her “Miss Nancy.” She was talking with a friend a while back about organ donation. She explained in an interview with the UIHC.org that her friend’s decision was “an important part of her life’s journey, and that was inspirational to me.”
Then, in her 2017 class, there was a four-year-old boy named Camden Petersen…
18. BERGER’S DISEASE
Camden’s father Darreld was interviewed by CBS Philly and said that the teacher played “an important role” in his son’s life. School helped Camden and his father deal with their issues and make them feel like they were living a normal life. Seven years before that, Darreld found out that he had a kidney inflammation caused by an excess of immunoglobulin A, which is known as Berger’s disease.
17. ORGAN FAILURE
The excess of immunoglobulin A harmed the tissues of the kidneys. Six years after he was diagnosed with Berger’s disease, Darreld’s kidneys were failing. He was hospitalized for a week and then started to get regular dialysis. When kidneys stop working, dialysis helps filter and clean the blood, performing their job. What Darreld needed was a kidney transplant…
16. DIALYSIS TREATMENT
Undergoing dialysis is tiring, Darreld had to be in the hospital for four hours a day, three times every week. The best approach was to find him a kidney donor, so his doctors added him on the waiting list. With a transplant, the father would be able to live a normal life, without relying on dialysis. But he had to find a donor.
15. FAMILY WANTED TO DONATE
As soon as Darreld’s family and friends heard about his problems, they all wanted to help, explained the father: “I had friends and family come forward who wanted to donate. But those did not work out, for medical reasons or other reasons.” He had to wait or seek other donors…
14. BLEUER HEARD ABOUT DARRELD
While Darrel was looking for a donor, Camden one day talked about this issue at school. Bleuer had no idea what the family was going through but overheard the conversation Camden had with other kids. The teacher then talked to Darreld to find out if the boy was telling the truth.
13. HOW TO RESPOND TO THIS OPPORTUNITY
As soon as Bleuer found out about the father being in need of a kidney, she remembered about her friend who donated one. The teacher said that she had always “wondered how [she]would respond if such an opportunity to help someone else came up.” And now she knew what to do…
12. THE DECISION WAS SIMPLE
The teacher realized that this decision was simple – and she immediately said she would be an organ donor right after learning about the father’s condition. Darreld was stunned and recalls in an interview that she said: “I want to donate. What do I have to do?”
At first, he was a little bit uncertain about this, but Bleuer insisted!
11. IT WASN’T EASY
Being an organ donor is not that easy. Bleuer might have promised a kidney to Darreld, but she had a long way until actually having the transplant. The teacher had to take a blood test to see if she was compatible with Darreld and then the doctors had to take more blood tests to see if they really matched.
10. MORE PROCEDURES
After the blood tests, Bleuer would have to face more procedures at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. She had to take a urinalysis, an EKG and a CT exam. Bleuer was also tested psychologically to make sure that she was mentally ready for the next steps.
Then, they had to wait for the results…
9. IT’S A MATCH!
The results were exactly what both Bleuer and Darreld were hoping for! They were a match, and when she learned about it, she said that she was ecstatic and “really excited about it,” adding that she had no idea what she would have done for closure if she found a different result. How did Darreld take the news?
8. A STUNNED FATHER
Bleuer shared the news with Darreld, who was stunned. In the interview with UIHC.org, Bleuer said that the father needed a “minute to sink in, but then he hugged me, and I knew, ‘OK, he gets it!’”
Next, the pair had to prepare for the transplant surgery…
7. THE PROCEDURE
It was 1st June 2017 when Bleuer and Darreld were taken into operating theaters for the surgery. Surgeons removed the teacher’s kidney and then implanted it into Darreld. The operations were flawless, and just a week after that, both patients were back home!
What happened after that?
6. SHARING THE STORY
Darreld wanted to share his story and teach the world how donating an organ can help other people transform their lives. He was thankful for the medical team that has created “a positive and supportive environment” while they were operating. Here’s what he said about Bleuer…
5. ROLE MODELS
All his life, Darreld has seen his teachers as “important role [models]” as he was a child. He said that Bleuer was an amazing woman and he could never express how thankful he is for her selfless act.
What did the teacher have to say after the transplant?
4. BUCKET LIST
Bleuer can cross this ultimate act of selflessness from her bucket list. It was already there, so all she had to do is step in and say she’ll do it. The teacher knew that her donation would help Darreld live longer and be by his family’s side…
3. HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION
In an interview with ABC News, Bleuer said that she can’t wait for the next years when she will “be able to go to Camden’s high school graduation one day and talk about this and think, ‘Well, that was crazy.’”
2. “IT MEANS THE WORLD TO ME”
“She’s given me the opportunity to be able to be here and to be able to see my son graduate, watch him grow, and it means the world to me,” concluded the happy father who can now carry on with his life thanks to Bleuer.
1. A HUGE SACRIFICE
We should all be compassionate and help other people, even if it is a small act of kindness in our busy days or a huge sacrifice like Nancy Bleuer did for her little student’s father!