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The ultimate gift: Roanoke woman gives kidney to husband of 38 years

Wife was a perfect match for a necessary transplant


WINSTON-SALEM, NC. – Valentine’s Day has extra special meaning for a Roanoke County couple this year.

Richard Lawson learned he needed a kidney transplant and his wife, Lynn answered the call.

The two were delighted to learn she passed all the tests and could be a donor.

Just days before Feb. 14, which is also National Donor Day, Lynn and Richard went into surgery at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Thanks to finding the perfect match and successful surgery, Lynn and Richard will celebrate their 38th wedding anniversary next month.

March 1982
March 1982 (Lynn & Richard Lawson)

“Organ donation is truly the gift of life – lives are improved and lives are saved. It’s also a profound experience for those who give,” said Carl Westcott, M.D., associate professor of general surgery at Wake Forest Baptist Health, and Lynn’s surgeon.

Wake Forest Baptist’s Abdominal Organ Transplant Program began 50 years ago in 1970 and the team recently performed its 4,000th abdominal transplant – which includes kidney and pancreas transplants.

Last year, 243 patients received a kidney and/or pancreas at Wake Forest Baptist, which is the highest annual total in the history of the program.

According to Wake Forest Baptist, it is the largest kidney and pancreas transplant center in North Carolina and among the 20 most active centers in the country.

Post kidney transplant surgery
Post kidney transplant surgery (Richard and Lynn Lawson)