Sick teacher receives a heartwarming surprise when former student reveals she is willing to donate her kidney to him
The former teacher said that he has had problems with his kidneys ever since he was a teen and was convinced by his wife to look for a donor on social media
A retired teacher found out that he was going to be receiving a life-changing gift from one of his former students at the high school where he taught and that heartwarming moment was caught on camera. 63-year-old George Labecki was surprised by 34-year-old Lindsay Arnold Wenrich on October 7 when she revealed to him that she will be donating one of her kidneys to him. Labecki, who is from New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, said in an interview: "I was stunned. I was overpowered about the absolutely grand size [gesture] of what she was about to do for me. I was speechless, absolutely speechless." The former teacher also said that he has had problems with his kidneys ever since he was a teen.
Good Morning America reported that in January 2017, however, his organs started failing and he was placed on the country's transplant list shortly after. On April 20 this year, Labecki posted about his issues on Facebook after his wife told him to look for a suitable donor using social media.
The post was shared more than 150 times and one of the users who shared it was Kathy Young, Labecki's former colleague and Wenrich's former gym teacher at the Cedar Cliff High School, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. Wenrich was a student at Cedar Cliff where Labecki used to teach English to students for 34 years.
Wenrich never had Labecki as one of her teachers but she felt the need to do something for him when she saw his post. She told GMA: "I thought, 'wow, this is hitting kind of close to home." Wenrich also said Labecki was a popular teacher at the school whom all the children knew well.
She added: "It's not super often that I see someone I know who needs an organ donor and even though I never had him, Cedar Cliff is a close-knit community." The former student got herself tested in May and found out in September that she was a match with Labecki. In October, Wenrich went to the former teacher's home and surprised the huge Penn State Nittany Lions fan wearing the Penn State University mascot uniform.
She used a series of cue cards to reveal to the emotional teacher that she was giving him one of her kidneys. After the final cue card was turned over, Wenrich took off the head of the costume to reveal her face and the tearful teacher gave her a warm embrace.
The transplant surgery is set to take place on October 26. Wenrich said: "I think I'm prepared and knowledgeable and know what to expect. Luckily my work and my family has been really supportive. George [Labecki] and I became instant friends. I think we are going to be a really big part of each other's lives."
The emotional teacher has said that he can never repay the former student for giving him such a life-changing gift but has said that he hopes to keep her close to his family henceforth. He said: "She's an amazing person, I love her to death. I've been so thrilled to get to know her."