Kidney Transplant Set-Backs

A Waynesboro, Tenn., woman has a sick relative. Donnie Hammack needs a kidney transplant and she is a perfect match. Pam Melson is ready and willing to donate a kidney, but there’s a catch - her company, Tennessee Apparel, is refusing to hold her job for her while recuperating from the surgery.

Melson would need to miss between four and eight weeks to donate her kidney.

“He said that letting me off for this surgery would be like letting me off for breast implant surgery. I said this is more important than cosmetic surgery,” Melson said.

She also said that family members called upper management in the Tullahoma office to plead their case, but their position did not change. They don’t want to discourage Melson from donating a kidney - they just will not hold her job, until she comes back. That puts Melson in a “give life” and possible death position.

“If I can save this man’s life, I want to. I feel this is right in my heart and I want to do it, but I need to keep my job. I want to help out,” Melson explained.

Hammack feels blessed to have found a kidney - a perfect match, right in his own backyard - but he will not ask Melson to donate her kidney, if it means losing her job. Hammack just wants management at Tennessee Apparel to think about what the decision would be - if it involved the health of someone in their own family.

“I feel the guy is cold hearted. He should come with me to dialysis three days a week,” Hammack said.

“What if it was his family? Would he deny them if he knew a kidney was right there waiting for them? I don’t think so,” said Wileda, Hammack’s wife.