Alton man gives kidney to wife's pal on Valentine's Day

Rockford Register Star

ALTON — Paul Wallace wasn't focused on giving his wife chocolates or flowers on Valentine's Day. Instead, the southwestern Illinois man gave her best friend a kidney.

During a roughly six-hour procedure Tuesday, surgeons at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis transplanted one of the Alton man's kidneys into Vanessa Vassar, his wife's 40-year-old childhood friend now living in Mattoon. Both donor and recipient are expected to be released from the hospital within a few days.

Sara Wallace said the generosity isn't surprising from her husband, whom she insists "would give anybody anything." She said she and Vassar grew up going to the same church and school.

"He's amazing," she said. "I'm excited for Vanessa. I don't think she knows how good she's going to feel. I'm proud of Paul for doing this."
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