New Braunfels boy finds kidney match in first-grade teacher

6-year-old Matthew Parker set to receive kidney


NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – KSAT first told of Matthew Parker's story in December after his parents came to the media to ask for a kidney donor for their son.

Parker, who is a triplet, first received a kidney donation in 2010 from a non-living person. His body rejected the transplant.

"He lost his kidney function almost two years ago and he's been on dialysis this whole time," said Lisa Parker, Matthew's mother.

A first=grader at Hoffman Lane Elementary in New Braunfels, Parker could only spend two days in class due to his frequent trips to San Antonio for dialysis.

After his parents' plea in December, many potential donors came forward -- some from as far at New York. More than 70 were tested to see if they were a match. 

Miraculously, one came back as a positive match: Parker's first-grade teacher, Lindsey Painter.

"We were shocked when it came back as a match," said Painter, who was one of the first to be tested.

According to doctors who worked with Parker, only 1 percent of the population would have been a viable match for the 6-year-old.

"For me to be the needle-in-the-haystack match that they were looking for, it is hard to deny that it was meant to be," said Painter.

Lisa Parker agreed, calling it nothing short of a miracle.

"Our family is so thankful that she came forward and that she had in her heart," said Parker.

Painter only started working at Hoffman Lane Elementary last year. It was by pure coincidence that Parker and his two brothers were placed in her class.

Painter, who is a mother of two, said it was watching her own two active sons that convinced her to be a donor. She hoped that Parker could one day be as active as they were.

"You love them like your own, you celebrate with them when things go well, and you're upset (and) disappointed when things don't," Painter said of her students.

One more test is needed to reaffirm the match, with the surgery now scheduled for mid-March.

"Of course I'm nervous, but I know it's the right thing and I'm ready," said Painter.

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