Friends undergo kidney swap

Laurinburg Exchange

LAURINBURG — From their first meeting as roommates and teammates at Lenoir Community College in 1982, Ken Lewis and Roger Woolard had a lot in common.

“If you look at us, we’re about six foot one; we almost look identical as far as height and weight and so forth, we come from small communities, and we just happened to come together for the love of baseball,” said Lewis.

Within a year, an arm injury sent Lewis home to Tarboro while Woolard continued on to play for Lenoir and graduate from East Carolina University.

Their paths would converge 32 years later in a way neither, at that point, could have imagined.

Having lived with chronic kidney disease for more than 25 years, Woolard received his third kidney transplant in December 2014 at Vidant Medical Center, the primary teaching hospital for East Carolina’s Brody School of Medicine and one of five transplant centers in North Carolina.

In 1989, Woolard received his first transplanted kidney from his brother. Years later, in 2013, his body rejected a replacement donated by his wife. Last year, for the first time, Woolard received a new kidney from a complete stranger. Continue reading.