Orchard Teacher Melissa Jackson Connects With Former Family During Her Husband’s Lung Transplant in Pittsburgh

During the 2012-2013 school year, Multiage Preschool teacher Melissa Jackson formed a tight bond with Amir Hadi, one of her students. The two stayed connected since then, as Amir and Mrs. Jackson exchanged drawings and letters over the years, which continued when the Hadi family moved to Pittsburgh in 2017 because of work. 
In late 2015, Melissa’s husband, Tim, was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. He was referred to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) in early 2019 to be considered for a lung transplant. Tim was evaluated at UPMC in February, and received a double lung transplant on March 31, 2019. 
The Hadi family has been a constant source of support for the Jacksons throughout Tim's transplant journey. Christiane Had is a physician at UPMC, and has regularly spent time with Melissa and Tim at the hospital. The entire Hadi family has also welcomed them into their home, and now when they visit Pittsburgh for Tim's follow-up appointments, they make sure to spend a few days with the Hadis. 
“They're always so kind and helpful during our visits,” Melissa said. “Amir often makes a cup of hot tea for me, and we spend time chatting and sharing memories of Orchard.”
The Hadi family speaks so fondly of their time at Orchard and the school's caring community. We are so grateful for families like Hadis who help strengthen our community, even from five hours away!

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