Ellen Sherman taught Brad Meltzer history when he was in high school decades ago; she was his favorite teacher, and now Meltzer is a bestselling author of, among other things, books about history. And boy, did Meltzer find a way to repay Sherman for believing in him all those years ago at North Miami Beach Senior High School. After dedicating his 2013 book, History Decoded, to her, the two got in touch; Sherman eventually shared with her former student she was suffering from a kidney disease that caused brain fog, and needed a transplant. So Meltzer shared her story with his 100,000 Facebook followers, finding her a match, Fox News reports. The successful transplant took place last Wednesday. "I make my living writing thrillers and kids’ books about history," Meltzer tells the Miami Herald. "How much more could I owe my history teacher? This woman changed my life."
Along the way, Meltzer inadvertently helped another person: Hundreds of people came forward, and the first person found to be a match underwent a biopsy as part of the procedure—during which doctors found a tumor. "She said, ‘Thank you, Brad, for saving my life.' And I said, ‘I didn’t save your life, you saved your own life by volunteering to save my teacher,'" Meltzer tells Fox. That woman was unable to be a donor as a result of the tumor, but another woman ultimately stepped forward. Both she and Sherman have now been discharged and are recovering well. "The whole process has been such a blessing," Meltzer says. “It shows you how beautiful and complex the universe can be, and how rewarding, especially when you give something to someone else." (Here's another crazy kidney transplant story.)