A teacher saved the life of a seriously ill pupil of his by giving her one of his kidneys.
Alya Ahmed Ali ,13, a Royal Docks Community School, Custom House student, has received a life-saving transplant thanks to father-of-one Ray Coe, a 53-year-old special educational needs co-ordinator at the school.
This week her father, Ahmed Ali, mentioned the man who has given his daughter a second chance as a hero and a lifesaver.
“He has given her more than just the gift of life,” said Mr Ali, who lives in Old Barrowfield, Stratford. “He’s an amazing man, we owe him so much.”
Alya suffers from a condition called hydrocephalus, (water on the brain), which has resulted in her having severe learning difficulties. She also suffered from renal failure.
Her mother told Ray during the summer term last year she would be absent from school as she was undergoing kidney dialysis. Her teacher asked her what he can do to help the young girl.
“I said ‘Can I put my name down as a donor?’ I knew what being a donor meant and I knew there was a possibility it could go ahead and I knew the implications. I knew what I was doing.”
“There is a verse in the Bible that says something like: ‘Maybe you were born for such a time as this.’ It just clicked and I knew it was right.”
Ray said his wife fully supported his actions even though she was a bit shocked at first. “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.”
Meetings and blood tests, which confirmed Ray was a match despite not being related to Alya, followed, resulting in a successful transplant at Great Ormond Street Hospital in February.
Both Alya and Ray are now recovering well and are expected to return to school after the Easter break. “For her parents, it’s not words that can express their gratitude. For them I have saved their daughter’s life. It’s like I am another family member now.” said Ryan with a smile.