Extra Credit: Five-Year-Old Girl Gets Kidney Donated By Her Pre-School Teacher


Five-year-old Missouri girl Kayleigh Kulagec had never been able to take a bath before, due to a catheter she had to wear. She was born 26 weeks premature, weighing just 15.2 ounces and measuring at 11.25 inches, and had to spend the first 158 days of her life in the NICU. According to FOX2Now, Kulagec has needed a kidney her entire young life, and her parents set up peritoneal dialysis each and every night.

Now she’s getting a kidney donated from an unexpected source: her pre-kindergarten teacher, Robin Mach.

“If she didn’t have like these tubes on her or anything you wouldn’t really know anything’s wrong with her… She never cries. She never complains about pain. She’s a happy kid. I couldn’t have been any luckier to have her.”

Desiree Kulagec, Kayleigh’s mother

Mach met Kulagec in 2019, and she just wants to see her get the chance to lead a normal, healthy life. 

Screenshot Fox 2Now

“She was a student at our school. And then she had to receive some home services, so I got to do that. So, I’ve been working with Kayleigh for about a year and a half…

She needed it. I wanted her to have a normal life and go to school. And this is how we can help her get there.” 

Robin Mach, kidney donor
Screenshot Fox 2Now

This donated kidney ensures that Kaulagec would get the chance to do normal things, like taking a bath.

“She has never had a bath, like a normal bath. She’ll be able to swim, maybe experience the ocean. So, she’s going to be able to experience stuff she’s never been able to experience.”

Desiree Kulagec

Kaulagec’s surgeries went well, and the new kidney is working great. Desiree Kaulagec, Kayleigh’s mom, shared that Mach has been in touch every day, inquiring about her daughter’s recovery.


Written by Abigale Racine