A 53-year-old British teacher is being hailed a hero after saving the life of a seriously ill student by donating one of his kidneys.
Rae Coe, a special needs educator in London, England, was anxious to help 13-year-old Alya Ahmed Ali after he learned she was suffering from kidney failure and would have to take time off school for dialysis treatment.
Hero of the day Ray Coe for giving one of his kidneys to save Alya Ahmed Ali learning she was desperate for a donor pic.twitter.com/J5yHSB4VXs
— Clan MacDonald (@OfGlencoe) April 2, 2014
"I realised the implications of being a donor and knew what I was doing," he tells the Evening Standard. "When we told Alya, she just gave me a big squeeze and her face lit up. It brings tears to my eyes whenever I think of that."
After going through a series of tests to determine if his kidneys would be a match -- only a one in 100,000 chance for two unrelated individuals -- Coe remarkably turned out to be a fit.
"There is a verse in the Bible that says something like: 'Maybe you were born for such a time as this'," he says. "It just clicked and I knew then that it was right."
Alya also has hydrocephalus -- an excessive accumulation of fluid on the brain -- which has resulted in her having severe learning difficulties.
The pair are currently in recovery, doing well, and are expected to return to school after the Easter weekend.
Alya is now able to eat and drink what she pleases, as her diet before the operation was much more restricted.
"He has given her more than just the gift of life. He's an amazing man, we owe him so much," says Alya's father, Ahmed Ali.
Alya's story is one of many about a lucky individual receiving the life-changing gift of a kidney from a friend.
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In 2011, a young British boy was given a healthy kidney from a doctor after waiting for about three years on an organ donor list with no success.
And just last year, a Tennessee woman was given a second chance at life after receiving a kidney from a Facebook friend whom she hadn't seen in years.
Interested in becoming a kidney donor in Canada? Click here for more information.
And for more information about the kidney donation process, check out the video below.