Colorado teacher adopting student in need of kidney
Foster care kept teen off transplant list
AURORA, Colo. (KDVR via CNN Wire) -- A Colorado teacher is adopting a sick 7th grader in need of a stable home so he can stay on a kidney transplant list.
Finn Lanning is 13-year-old Damien's math teacher. The two met in August when school started.
"One day he showed up and just said he wasn't gonna be back anymore, and when I questioned him about that he told me that he was going back to live in the hospital," Lanning recalled.
It wasn't because he was too sick to stay at home, it was because he didn't have one.
"Over the course of the years, I ended up in foster homes because of my medical needs," Damien said.
That made it difficult for the county to find a placement, according to Lanning.
So, Damien had to live in the hospital for months or years at a time. When Lanning learned of that, he stepped in.
"I started out going in to give him his work and just hang out with him a little bit and keep him caught up in the classroom."
Lanning also learned that Damien couldn't be on the transplant list unless he had a stable home.
"When you're living in the hospital, you're not able to be on the transplant list because folks who don't have stable housing are considered high risk for their organ to not work," he said.
"It just became really hard for me to look the other way."
Damien moved into Lanning's home, and now, "I'm on the list and at the top because I've been on dialysis for so long."
Damien also finally has his own bedroom and said it's going well.
"We're planning on just staying together. Hoping for adoption probably," Damien said.