Twin sisters celebrate 15-year anniversary of kidney donation

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Twin sisters Laura Guy, left, and Lana Parsons are celebrating a unique milestone Tuesday, Feb. 4 is the 15th anniversary of the day Lana donated a kidney to her sister.

HAMPDEN — Twins Lana Parsons and Laura Guy are celebrating a special day — Lana donated her kidney to Laura 15 years ago today.

Laura was born with damage to her kidneys, but was able to live a normal life until 1980 when she began to go into kidney failure. At that time, Lana was too young to donate a kidney so Laura was put on the transplant list to get a new one.

Less than two months after Laura was put on the list, she received a call from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and, on March 14, she received a new kidney from a deceased organ donor.

Laura and her mom spent three months in Ontario while she took anti-rejection medication before finally being sent home to live a normal life.

The kidney lasted for almost 19-and-half years, but Laura soon began to feel very tired. She passed it off because she was so busy getting ready for her upcoming wedding.

Two days before her wedding in July 1998, her mom got the terrible news that Laura was in kidney failure again. Her mother refrained from telling Laura the news because she didn’t want anything to ruin her daughter’s wedding day.

Laura and her husband were going on vacation, but for the sake of her health her mom had to tell her that she was in kidney failure.

Laura was devastated, never thinking this day would come again.

On Oct. 7 of that year, she began the agonizing routine of travelling from Hampden to Corner Brook for dialysis three times a week and three-and-a-half hours a day.

However, Laura was fortunate to have an identical twin sister who was now old enough and willing to give her a kidney.

Lana went through the standard routine for all potential kideny donors. She said it took a lot of courage, but it was the best gift she could have ever given her sister.

Guy’s second transplant was on Feb. 4, 1999 — 15 years ago today. They were told by the medical team in Halifax that they were the first identical twins in 20 years to undergo a kidney transplant at the hospital.

Guy and Parsons would like to encourage everyone to sign their organ donor cards to “give the gift of life,” and to support the Kidney Foundation because, they said, Newfoundland has one of the highest rates for people awaiting kindey transplants.

Organizations: Hospital for Sick Children, Kidney Foundation

Geographic location: Toronto, Ontario, Corner Brook Halifax Newfoundland

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  • Karen J
    February 05, 2014 - 19:18

    So proud of my Aunt Lana!!!

  • Chris weir
    February 04, 2014 - 23:07

    These two people are the most loving people I ever encountered in my life, this is a awesome milestone. Lana and Laura u are very brave and came a long way to get to this point. Congrats love u both all the best

  • ns lady
    February 04, 2014 - 21:45

    This story is nice, but remember its not easy for the organ donor families! I have been there waiting for the teams to arrive and my loved one was in the hospital for 3 days after they were announced dead! Thats 3 days of going back and fourth to the hospital watching my family member lifeless, 3 days of crying,3days of praying,3 days of watching a machine do all the work for her! With out organs donors people that are need would not be here, I think that they should honor organ donors

    • Sharon Mercier
      February 04, 2014 - 23:58

      Absolutely, organ donors and their families should be honored. It's their selflessness that saves lives. At transplant games, they are honored and appreciated, but more needs to be done to not only bring awareness to organ donation but to organ donors and their gift of life. There would be no transplants without them. Two of my loved ones died post transplant/double lungs and each time our family prayed for the ones giving their lives and for the families making that painful decision while in such pain and grief. They are also heroes. Because their names aren't given, credit isn't given to individuals. They are sent from Heaven by God to bless all those they save.

  • Lindsay mugford
    February 04, 2014 - 18:23

    Awesome news! So happy for both of you. God answers prayer! You proved that!