Texas principal donates kidney to 3 of her students’ ailing father

A Texas principal led with her head and her heart and donated a kidney to the father of three of her students.

Sarah Schecter, the head of Lower School at The Oakridge School in Arlington, donated her kidney Jan. 13 to Nate Jones, who developed renal failure and has been on dialysis for 18 months, enduring four hours of the procedure three days a week, WFAA reported.

The transplant was a success, and Schecter told the television station the procedure was worth it because it enabled third-grader William Jones, fourth-grader Sydney Jones and eighth-grader Aaron Jones to keep their father.

"To think they could lose their dad when they're just kids in school, I just want them to have their dad," Schecter told WFAA. "You think of a thousand reasons why you shouldn't do it. But it just couldn't be avoided."

Nate Jones said his kidney problems were discovered after he had his eyes examined. His eye doctor sent Jones to a retina specialist, the television station reported. The specialist said he needed to see his primary doctor "yesterday," WFAA reported.

“(The doctor said)‘You’re a walking time bomb,’” Jones told the television station. "Like, ‘Buddy, you are in trouble.’”

After learning he had renal failure, Jones was told a transplant was his only option.

"Transplant? How do you go from being healthy with no headaches, no nothing – and now you need a transplant?" Jones told WFAA.

Jones’ wife, Amenze Jones, mentioned her husband’s condition to Schecter as a head’s up in case her children seemed distracted, the television station reported.

“Very shortly after she told me -- like within days or maybe even hours -- I felt a heavy burden," Schecter said. "Of course, I didn’t want to be the person to give a kidney -- who wants to go into surgery and do something crazy like that?”

Schecter decided several months later to undergo testing to she if she could be a donor. She was.

Nate Jones was overwhelmed after surgery, giving Schecter a long, tight hug, WFAA reported.

“How do I pay her back?” Nate Jones told the television station. “I can’t. I can’t pay her back. It runs through my mind. What can you do to thank her for this? Words aren’t enough.

“I mean, do I cut her grass every day? Do I paint her house? What do I do?”

“There’s something bold for you to do. God will give it to you,” Schecter told him. “You’ve got a good kidney now. Just go forward and do what you need to do.”

About the Author