Clarkston teacher donates kidney to save co-worker's young son

The Gift of Life led to a special reunion outside Detroit Children's Hospital of Michigan on Monday.

A local teacher who donated her kidney -- reunited with the recipient - who happened to be a fellow teacher's son.

"We need(ed) someone to step up and basically save his life," said Dennis Klenow

It was a dire call for help made by a father who simply wanted his son to have a chance to live another day.

"We’ve known that he had issues since he was in utero," said Klenow.

So it wasn’t a surprise that Adam needed a kidney. The challenge was, how long would he have to wait for one?

"If we had to wait for a deceased donor, it could’ve been years,"he said. "He would’ve had to go through dialysis and he would’ve been much, much sicker."

So Dennis, who is a teacher with the Clarkston Community Schools, reached out to district officials asking staff to be evaluated as a potential donor.  A number of people answered the email asking for help - including Jessica Sorensen.

"Well it was a no-brainer for me," she said. "(With) Dennis, I’ve been a dear friend and colleague for 20 years and he taught my children. I taught his children."

The testing of Jessica’s kidneys led to a perfect match.

"It was just a miracle the whole thing I said it a zillion times since it started, it was meant to be," Sorensen said.

Jessica and Adam’s surgeries took place in June of this year. They shared video of medical staff bringing Jessica’s kidney which was removed at Henry Ford Health to Children’s Hospital for the procedure.

"When you have a living donation, that actually helps two people," Dr. Amrish Jain, Medical Director, Kidney Transplant Program, Children’s Hospital of Michigan. "It helps a person you have donated to but it also helps someone move up the list."

Two months after surgery Adam has a new lease on life and his family is grateful for Jessica.

"She knows know that she saved a life," said Klenow. "Now he is sleeping about eight hours a night, he's up early, he's got lots of energy, he wants to walk 2-3 times a day."

On Monday the Gift of Life flag was raised.

"It really was a beautiful experience from start to finish and I am so grateful that he's okay,: Sorensen said.

"I hope the takeaway is, when you have the chance to do something good, something right in today's world - take that opportunity, take that chance," Klenow said.