Lee Buono and Al Siedlecki

Al Siedlecki (right)—or “Mr. Sie,” as his students call him—has been teaching science at Medford Memorial Middle School in New Jersey for more than three decades.

But a few years back, as Sie was helping a group of students study for a test, something happened that in all his years of teaching had never happened before: he received an urgent phone call from a neurosurgeon.

As it turns out, the doctor on the phone was Lee Buono (left), who was one of Sie’s students back in the 1980s. Today, he’s a neurosurgeon. At StoryCorps, Lee and Al sat down to tell the rest of their story.

Originally aired September 25, 2011, on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday.