When Solomon Hubbs turned 14 in August, he received a happy birthday text from a school teacher who came into his life through a twist of fate and to whom he’ll always be connected.
In 2018, teacher Alexandria Eubank donated a kidney to Solomon, who lives in Medina and attends Buckeye Junior High. Solomon and his older brother, Jeremiah, have an inherited disease called Alport syndrome that caused their kidneys to fail. Both needed dialysis under the care of Dr. Shefali Mahesh, director of pediatric nephrology at Akron Children’s.
Alexandria was Jeremiah’s math teacher at Buckeye High School when she learned about his illness. She stepped up and offered to donate a kidney. She underwent tests that determined she was a match.
When a kidney from a deceased donor became available for Jeremiah, he no longer needed Alexandria’s kidney. In 2017, Jeremiah underwent a transplant while brother Solomon was placed on the transplant list.
Without hesitation, Alexandria offered to be tested again. It turned out she was a match again.
After several months of evaluations and preparation, Solomon received Alexandria’s kidney in May 2018.
“That kidney is still running strong for him,” mother Lisa Hubbs said recently. “All in all, he’s been doing good.”
She’s proud of how both her sons have handled adversity. Solomon also has sickle cell disease and undergoes treatments at Akron Children’s. Jeremiah, now 21, is living on own.
“Jeremiah is working, learning to be an adult and the responsibilities that come with that,” Lisa says. “Both have been doing good in spite of challenges they have faced. They are strong boys. They’re soldiers.”
Dr. Mahesh said young patients on dialysis spend many hours a week connected to a machine that cleans their blood. They suffer not just physically, but emotionally and intellectually. Their cognitive abilities decline.
“A transplant is life-changing in so many ways,” she said. “They eat better, they sleep better, their grades improve and their growth improves.”
Solomon, an eighth-grader, says he’s grateful.
“I can accomplish more than I did before. I can go outside and play basketball. I have more energy and feel better.”
Lisa is working full time and going to college for a bachelor’s degree in business science and human resources. She and Alexandria stay in touch. Lisa says she is forever grateful that Alexandria made a such a sacrifice for a Black family she didn’t know.
Alexandria, who now teaches math at Open Door Christian Schools in Elyria, said she felt deeply that God had called on her to step up for the Hubbs kids.
“I serve Him and have the ability to live a life with pure intention, with true love. That’s why I saw the need and how I could help,” she says. “It was never about me or potential things that could go wrong. There was a need and I tried to fulfill that.”
Read Solomon’s original story.