Nurse Gives Co-Worker Extraordinary “Gift”

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Lisa Stevens, a mother of five, had just one kidney, and it was failing.

The registered nurse at the Geisinger Community Medical Center suffers from lupus, which took her original kidneys. She received a transplant 20 years ago thanks to a donation from her sister-in-law, but that organ’s lifespan had ended.

Kelly Flowers, another nurse in the department and a mother of four, has worked with Ms. Stevens for the past 14 years. The pair, both from Clarks Summit, have also attended the same Dunmore church for the last two decades.

When Ms. Flowers heard her friend was sick, she offered to have her own kidneys checked to see if she would be a good donor. She was.

“Not a perfect match, but matched as though they were sisters,” said Chintalapati Varma, M.D., the director of transplant surgery at the Geisinger Health System and a surgeon on the team that worked on the two nurses. On Friday, the team completed the transplant at the Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.

The extraordinary sacrifice came as no surprise to the tight-knit group of nurses in the pair’s surgical services department — the recovery room for those going to or coming from surgery. To show support for their sisters going under the knife, the nurses all wore their green scrubs Friday, the color used to promote organ donorship.

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