9/11 hero and former New York City school principal in need of lifesaving kidney

Michelle Charlesworth Image
Tuesday, April 9, 2024
Education veteran and 9/11 hero in need of kidney
Michelle Charlesworth has more on the push to help one education veteran and 9/11 hero receive a lifesaving kidney.

CHINATOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- One of the unsung heroes during 9/11 is now in need of her own savior.

73-year-old Lily Woo is in dire need of a kidney.

The former school principal has gone through dialysis for years until last May, when she received a kidney from someone who passed away. That kidney is now failing, and she needs another one.

Woo has been an educator for 45 years. She spent 25 years of her career as the principal of P.S. 130, where they have a bumper sticker up to try and help her get a kidney.

Many in the school community remember Woo for being a hero on 9/11.

Woo stayed overnight at her Lower Manhattan elementary school for three days after the attacks to help students whose parents could not pick them up.

Current Principal Renny Fong says Woo would not leave the children, instead taking care of them when the school essentially became a triage center after the terror attacks.

"I did what I thought was my responsibility, as a head of school, and as someone like a surrogate parent for the kids who were left in my charge," Woo said.

That's why former President Bush back then thanked her for being a great American.

Although Fong and about 20 other people tried to donate a kidney to Woo, they couldn't for health reasons.

Dr. Matt Harmody is a retired doctor who is also a kidney donor.

"If I had another spare, I'd give it away as well," he said.

Harmody says there is an urgent need, with about 90,000 people in the U.S. in need of a kidney.

Given that a person has two kidneys but can live a completely full life with only one, Woo pleads with people to consider donating.

"With a good kidney, it can extend my life for another 20 years," she said.

If you are interesting in helping Woo, you can visit her National Kidney Registry page.

ALSO READ: Hillary Clinton offers support to NYC families for improved child care

Lauren Glassberg has more on the campaign to improve child care in New York City.


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