Twin sisters celebrate 15-year anniversary of kidney donation

Published on February 4, 2014
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.
Submitted photo

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.