WATCH: This teacher became a hero the day she decided to donate her kidney to her little student


"One donor saves 7 lives" is a phrase we hear repeatedly during Organ Donor Month (August), but considering that more than 4 000 South Africans await a life-giving organ or cornea transplant, we may need to up the ante on raising awareness. 

Despite the fact that registration is completely free and is as easy as signing up for a social media account, less than 1% of South Africans are registered donors. 

If further motivation is needed, here it is. 

A US-based teacher, Beth Battista, went above and beyond by donating a kidney to her little student.

5-year-old Lyla Carreyn's kidneys had failed her due to a rare autoimmune disorder and she was undergoing 12-hour dialysis sessions daily. 

Mother Dena Carreyn took to social media desperately appealing to community members to consider testing for suitability and donating. 

After much fundraising and calls to action via Facebook, Lyla finally received the life-saving organ. 

Watch their heartwarming story below: 

Here are a few important facts you might not have known about becoming an organ donor in SA: 

1. Registering is as easy as signing up for a newsletter

Registration to become a donor must be done via the Organ Donor Foundation of South Africa (ODF). Simply call their toll-free number (listed below) or visit to sign up online. 

2. There are absolutely no fees or compensation 

South African legislation states that hospitals are required to cover all costs. It is also illegal for donors to receive any compensation. 

3. You are allowed to choose which organs you'd like to donate

During the registration process, potential donors are required to complete a donor card – here you can indicate which of your organs you'd like to donate. 

4. Anonymity is a must

According to the law, the identitiy of the donor as well as the recipient must remain private. 

5. Informing family is required

Since your family will be asked to give the final consent, telling them about your decision is an absolute must. 

6.The decision is not set in stone

If for any reason you decide that you no longer want to be a donor, simply remove the stickers (received upon registering) from all identifying documents, i.e. driver's license and ID. Telling family about your change of heart is also advised. 

If you'd like to know more, here are a few organisations you can call or email: 

The Organ Donor Foundation of South Africa (ODF)
0800 22 66 11 (toll free)

The National Kidney Foundation of South Africa
011 447 2531

Love Life; Gift Life

Would you become an organ donor? Why or why not? Or, perhaps you've already donated an organ? We want to know. Tell us by emailing to and we might publish your story. Anonymous submissions are welcome. 

Read more: 

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