A mathematics teacher has adopted one of his students so that he could get a kidney transplant.
Damien, 13, has been in and out of foster care all his life and has been fighting kidney failure since he was eight years old.
But his concern has proved too much for many of his caregivers, and every time he leaves a home, he loses his place on the waiting list for a kidney because transplant patients must have a stable home.
With no hope for a kidney, and his condition so severe, Damien would have to move to live in the hospital for full-time dialysis while waiting for something else.
When his maths teacher, Finn Lanning, heard that Damien, a smart boy he’d barely got to know, would be leaving school due to factors beyond his control, he offered to get in.
Now he has adopted Damien, who has moved to his place, and Damien is at the top of the waiting list for a kidney – while the community is trying to come together with a GoFundMe to help Lanning pay a new teenage son.
When math teacher Finn Lanning (left) heard that Damien (right), a clever seventh grade in his class for a semester, was leaving school due to factors he had no control over, he offered to step in
Now Damien is back on the transplant list and he comes to life with Finn
“Damien has learned to be very independent and tends to keep his difficulties to himself, but he told me about his circumstances a few days before returning to the hospital,” Lanning wrote in the GoFundMe.
“Because I couldn’t keep his challenges from my heart and mind, I started the personal journey to consider taking on his concerns.”
Damien’s life was hard.
It looked better in September: he lived with a family member in Aurora, Colorado, and was able to attend classes at the AXL Academy, where he attended Finn Lanning’s mathematics lesson.
Damien was quiet but very clear and diligent.
So Lanning was stunned when this impressive new student came to him at the end of the semester to say he would not be coming back.
He explained that the family member he lived with had led him back to care in the province, which had automatically pushed him off the list for a transplant.
“A transplant is a very complex process, many medicines are needed to maintain a healthy transplant, so patients must have a support system,” Dr. Anthony Watkins, abdominal transplant surgeon at NewYork-Presbyterian / Weill Cornell Medical Center and assistant professor of surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine, told DailyMail.com.
“They need someone who can help with the visit.”
What’s more, the person they designate must commit to a long-term relationship, since a transplant is a long-term form of treatment.
It is a policy that is considered even more urgent for children.
“They are young, they don’t fully understand the importance of medication and health, so you really need someone,” explains Dr. Watkins, who was not involved in Damien’s care.
According to Fanning’s GoFundMe post, Damien has had people in his life, but no one who could or could not keep his care, which implies a very limited diet, daily dialysis and medication.
Finding another house is not easy; his caregiver must be trained.
So, as a temporary solution, he would have to live in hospital for 12 hours of dialysis.
But, Dr. Watkins says, “Dialysis is a great way to temporarily replace kidney function. But people who undergo dialysis have a reduced survival and quality of life. “
“It’s not the gold standard,” he added.
It looked better in September: he lived with a family member in Aurora, Colorado, and was able to attend classes at the AXL Academy, where he attended Finn Lanning’s mathematics lesson. Damien was quiet but very clear and diligent
In December Lanning began training in the care of a child with severe renal insufficiency who needs hours at home on a dialysis machine and a strict restricted diet
Lanning nominated himself as Damien’s long-term support system.
In December he started training in the care of a child with severe renal insufficiency who needs hours at home on a dialysis machine and a strict restricted diet.
They were ready in March.
Damien and Lanning have been working together for three months now, cooking a lot and getting excited about Damien’s life as soon as he has a new kidney.
“I want a hot and spicy chicken sandwich from McDonald’s with extra mayonnaise,” Damien said CNN.
For now, groceries are more expensive, partly due to the nature of Damien’s diet, which is around $ 200 a week, Lanning told CNN.
- Go to them to donate to Damien and Lanning GoFundMe