High School Math Teacher Reveals Selfless Act Of Donating Kidney To One Of His Students — 'Why Not Help Someone Who Really Needs It?'

He didn't think twice about wanting to help one of his students who was in need of a kidney.

Teacher talking to student in an office Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

A high school teacher has received praise after doing a selfless act to help one of his students in need.

Eddie McCarthy, a math teacher at Whitmer High School in Toledo, Ohio, revealed that he had seen a story circulating about a 15-year-old who needed some help due to a serious condition affecting his health. McCarthy explained that he didn't hesitate once he realized that the young man was one of his students and that he had an opportunity to help.


He decided to donate his kidney to one of his students who had been looking for a donor.

Roman McCormick, a high school senior, and his parents had shared their story with local news stations in Toledo, Ohio, as well as in Monroe, Michigan. Roman revealed that he needed a kidney donor due to a rare syndrome affecting him.

The 15-year-old has branchiootorenal or BOR syndrome, a hereditary condition that affects tissue development and can cause ear and kidney malformations, according to the National Institutes of Health.

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"I'm not able to eat foods that most normal kids will be able to. I'm not able to be more [physically] active because [my] kidneys are slowing down my physical activity," Roman told Good Morning America, adding that his condition often makes him feel very tired as well.

Over time, Roman's condition worsened, leading to stage 4 kidney disease. If the young boy wasn't able to find a donor, he would need to go on dialysis until the transplant. With no options left, Roman's parents, Jamie Redd and Dan McCormick decided to reach out and share their story.

McCarthy ended up discovering Roman's need for a new kidney a couple of months later after seeing the news story floating around. "In mid-February, I think the story was just going around, maybe on Facebook or something and maybe one of my friends might have texted me like, 'Hey, this is your student.' So I saw that," McCarthy told GMA.

"And then the next day, or maybe a day after that, I went and got tested. We were matched there and then I just kept going back up to the hospital and doing all the tests that you have to do, and I kept coming back healthy, and it was shown that I'm a match for him."


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McCarthy surprised Roman and his parents with the news about the two being a match for the transplant.

Unbeknownst to Roman or his parents, McCarthy decided to go get tested. The high school math teacher revealed that he didn't go into it thinking he would be donating his kidney, but just wanted to see if there was a chance he would be able to help.

For the kidney donation, McCarthy and Roman would have to share the same blood type — in this case, O positive — and other steps had to be followed for it all to work out.

"When I originally signed up, you don't go into it thinking, 'I'm gonna donate my kidney.' You just go into it thinking, 'Let's see if we're a match. Let's see if it works.'" McCarthy recalled. "And then it just worked."


"It's pretty crazy that it ends up being, you know, like his math teacher... because I know there were a bunch of other people that probably started the process as well. But you know, you got to be a match. It doesn't always work out."

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At first, McCarthy had planned on simply remaining anonymous, but after putting himself in Roman's parents' shoes, he decided that the family would probably want to know who the donor was for their son, and McCarthy's instincts were right.

Roman's mother was speechless at hearing the news that her son would be able to get a new kidney and have 'his teenage years back.'

"I could thank him for the rest of my life and it would still never be enough for what he's doing. And I know it's a commitment not just from him, but his family too," Jamie insisted, while Roman's father added, "The fact that my son was able to get a donor just means the world to me."


"I'll never be able to... thank him enough for everything that he's done for us. He's a wonderful human being."

As for McCarthy, he hoped that the attention he was receiving for his actions would encourage others to learn if they might be a match for someone in their lives who needs a kidney.

"There's people out there who need kidneys... You technically don't need both of yours. So, why not help someone who really needs it?" he said. "It's totally worth it to just go for it. Go get checked out and see if you're a match."


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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.