West Virginia delegate donates kidney to ailing sister

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia delegate had a good excuse for missing the recent start of the legislation session — he was recuperating from surgery after donating a kidney to his sister.

Cabell County Democrat Sean Hornbuckle told The Herald-Dispatch that he planned to return to Charleston this week.

Hornbuckle was told by doctors to stay in bed last week as he recovers from the surgery in which he donated a kidney to his sister, Kara Hornbuckle. The legislative session started Wednesday.

“My main concern was being able to help her,” Hornbuckle said. “That was the biggest thing. It’s in my nature to help anyway.”

He said Kara Hornbuckle, who was diagnosed with diabetes at an early age, had been on kidney dialysis for more than two years. Her condition worsened to the point that she required a transplant.

“Dialysis wears on people,” Sean Hornbuckle said. “You get tired and run down. You’re not able to do the things you are accustomed to. It changes everything up, even from the standpoint of work and being able to work, which messes with you financially. It’s a lot on a person.”

The surgery was performed Dec. 19 at the University of Kentucky.

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Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.