A teacher from Colorado has touched many lives recently, when news of her donating a kidney to a former student, hit the news. Tracy Bye was a teacher at Steamboat Middle School, Henry Howard was once a 5th grade student there. Although Bye never taught Howard, she became close with his family over the years. Last year, a letter went around the school trying to find a kidney for Howard, who had been diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease 3 years prior. Howard had exhausted his options after all of those close to him were tested for a possible match, but were denied. Bye saw the letter that went around the school and went to get tested. Doctors discovered she was a match for Howard. On September 1, the two underwent surgery to complete the transplant, which ended up being a success. Howard has described the process as a gift in itself, and that there are no ways to express gratitude towards Bye.
This past week we’ve discussed Aristotle’s views on Integrity and Happiness. Aristotle defines happiness as fulfilling pleasure, wealth, and honor. I think that in certain ways, Bye and Howard have fulfilled these views, but have also reached their own versions of happiness. This situation can describe the feeling of pleasure, Howard has experienced a new level of pleasure after receiving the new kidney. He is indulging in this new sense of health. Bye is also experiencing happiness in the form of pleasure, in the sense that she helped Howard reach a new level of health.
Bye and Howard also reached their own versions of happiness. Howard was faced with what could have ultimately been a death sentence. Bye essentially saved his life. He experienced the utmost amount of gratitude towards Bye, and even stated that there are no ways to express his thanks to her. Howard was given the gift of life, which instills happiness in itself. Howard gave the gift of life, which is a fulfilling version of happiness.