Nominated by Liz Anderson
When Toni Lamb learned a friend and fellow nurse in the Birthing Center at St. Joseph Medical Center, Liz Anderson, was on dialysis, she knew she wanted to help. Having previously seen her father go through dialysis, she understood the toll it can take on a person. After giving it serious thought and praying over it, Lamb decided she would see if she could be a potential match to donate a kidney to Anderson.
Lamb contacted Midwest Transplant Group, the practice overseeing Anderson’s care, to obtain information on the possibility of donating a kidney. After several months of extensive testing that included cardiac screenings, lab work and kidney CT scans, the results came back—Lamb was a match to donate her kidney to Anderson.
“Everything just fell into place as though it was meant to be,” says Lamb. “I felt as though there was no reason to be afraid. God put this opportunity before me and made it happen.”
Lamb says her family was fully supportive of her decision to donate the kidney. “Of course they had concerns about my well-being since it is a major procedure. However, they understood my desire to do this and were behind me all the way.”
Three months after beginning the testing to determine if Lamb was a match, the women underwent the procedure to transfer Lamb’s kidney into Anderson’s body. The transplant was successful and both women are now doing well. Lamb says fellow co-workers and friends were an invaluable source of support during recovery, bringing meals and helping with housework. Each month, both women celebrate this new bond in their friendship by going to lunch and reflecting on how blessed they are to have shared this experience.
Lamb was surprised and humbled to learn she had been named St. Joseph’s Woman of the Year. “There are a lot of amazing women overcoming obstacles every day,” she said. She hopes this spotlight on her story encourages others to consider organ donation. “You always think of organ donations as a box you check on your driver’s license, but there are a lot of ways people can help others in need of organ donations while they’re still living.”
“All the nominations we received for Woman of the Year were remarkable. It’s inspiring to see so many women making a positive impact on others around them,” said Dolores Sabia, Director of Women’s Services at St. Joseph. “It was a hard decision to select just one woman; we chose to recognize Tony because we believe she exemplifies the meaning of going above and beyond to make a difference in the life of someone else.”