Sammy Nickalls
May 21, 2015 12:05 pm

Grade-school gym is class some of us loved and some of us…not so much. But we all had to do it to graduate, right? Well, one student’s gym class ended up saving her life, thanks to an unbelievably generous gym teacher.

This past Tuesday, 18-year-old student A’Ja Booth and 39-year-old gym teacher Nadirah Muhammad walked arm-in-arm down a red carpet in the gymnasium as onlooking students and staff showered them with confetti. A’Ja had finally returned to West Side Academy in Detroit, and the school welcomed her back with an assembly after A’Ja was given a new kidney—her gym teacher’s kidney, to be exact.

“I’m blessed and I’m thankful,” a teary A’Ja told the assembly. (OUR HEARTS)

According to the Detroit Free Press, A’Ja has kidney disease, and she had to leave school early a whopping three days a week for kidney dialysis. That’s a lot of missed school. Like the super-fab teen she is, she decided to write a story documenting her experiences, entitled “My Dialysis Journey.” A’Ja was telling another teacher about the story, and Nadirah overheard. When she read it, she was totally floored.

“After I read her story, I immediately decided that I wanted to volunteer to donate one of my kidneys,” Nadirah told the Detroit Free Press. “If that was my child, I would want someone to do the same. It was a no-brainer.”

Nadirah headed to the hospital last July to see if they were a good match. When they got the green light, the kidney transplant was made five months later on December 15th, an excellent early Christmas present. Now, A’Ja is able to graduate with her peers on June 8th. Her teacher has not only given her an education, but a new life—and A’Ja can pursue her goal of becoming a nurse.

At the assembly, Nadirah stood on a pedestal with A’Ja. “We are here to help, to educate and to serve our students, and this is what I did,” Nadirah said. “This is the result of my simple act of kindness, because God blesses us every single day. So what I did, I don’t see as a sacrifice, it was a blessing, and I was happy to have that spirit and to help my fellow man.” And then they hugged, and our hearts grew three sizes.

“I’m really thankful and blessed for receiving a kidney from Ms. Muhammad,” A’Ja told the crowd. “I cannot thank her any more than anything she has done for me. I look at her as my second mother. We have been going through this for about a year now, but since I’ve had the kidney, it has been successful, doing what I have to do to take care of it. I can’t thank her enough. She is a blessing.”

Luckily, this amazing heartwarming assembly was caught on film, so you can watch it below. . . just keep your tissues ready.

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