A daughter gave the gift of life to the first man she ever loved

MILLPORT, Al. (WCBI) – An Alabama assistant principal donated her kidney to a member of the state board of education.

She also happened to be that board member’s daughter.

April is National Donate Life Month, and at South Lamar School, they celebrated in a special way.

They welcomed Lisa Wright back to work, three weeks after she gave the gift of life to her dad.

“When I walked in yesterday and saw all of the signs welcoming me back, it just feels so good,” said South Lamar School Assistant Principal Lisa Wright.

Wright’s welcoming came after she donated a kidney to her father, Jeff Newman.

“Just like any parent would be, I think there was a little guilt there, you know? Putting your child through that, but you know, I just kept reassuring him we want to do this. We are all so used to him being a strong man and doing and everything. It was hard to see him when his energy level got low.”

Back in October of 2017, Newman found out he had stage four kidney disease and was put on the transplant list in November of 2018.

A short time later, Wright and her sister, Crystal Newman, who also works at South Lamar, were tested to see if they were matches for their dad.

Both daughters were, but Wright got approved a little quicker than her older sister.

The surgery was set for March 18.

“It just happened to be somebody that I just love unconditionally, you know, my daddy, and I hope I can speak out so others will know it’s a wonderful process and it’s a process that God really thought out whenever He made us. He created this perfect plan and this was in it and it’s just so amazing.”

“I’ll be honest, I was a little bit disappointed that it wasn’t me. I mean, we were just so happy that either one of us could and that daddy would get a kidney, but really I mean, I wanted to do it, she wanted to do it, so it was good,” said Wright’s older sister Crystal Newman.

Wright said although she was a little scared about the surgery, she never hesitated because it was her father and they are a very close family.

“Even though I physically gave the kidney, it’s really a family journey and everybody is in it together, being put through the process of being tested and you know, my mother, having to help with everything. She had a child in the operating room. She had a husband in the operating room. She’s just been so strong through the whole thing.”

The school and community have also been a strong support system throughout the whole process.

“It wasn’t until that morning, when I was looking on Facebook, waiting on the surgery, that I saw that they had Prayer Around the Pole and then, they did the walking for Daddy and Lisa and it’s just emotional. We just love our school and they love us,” says Newman.

Wright said her dad was released on Tuesday and will return home on Wednesday.

The surgery took place at UAB.

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