West Tennessee Police Officer to Receive Kidney Transplant
KENTON, Tenn. - For years, the assistant police chief in Newbern has battled a tough disease, but thanks to his own son, he will soon be the picture of health.
On October 11, Assistant Chief Richard 'Red' Barnes will get a kidney transplant, because of his own son.
Barnes has been battling kidney disease for seven years. He told 7 Eyewitness News it has not been easy going to dialysis three days a week.
"Sometimes you say, 'Well, man, I don't really want to go,' but you know you gotta go 'cause it's just, I take it like going to work on the job. You know you've got to go to work," Barnes said.
And so he was thrilled when he found out his son was a perfect match, so he could get a kidney transplant.
"It was just a wonderful thing to know that my son loved me that much to give his dad a kidney," Barnes said. "It was the most exciting thing. Just a blessing."
"When I found out, I honestly, I started crying because I didn't think I would be, being that we're not blood related," said Barnes' son, Tony Lambert.
Lambert is actually his step-son, making the match even more special. Though the surgery will cure Barnes' kidney disease, things will still not be easy.
It will be expensive paying for medical bills and gas going back and forth to the hospital in Birmingham, Alabama.
He will still have to stay about three weeks after surgery.
"I know my wife is going to be coming back and forth to take care of things here at home if everything goes well," Barnes said.
So far, his church members and city colleagues have raised about $800 to help cover the costs.
Barnes said he is grateful for everyone's support, especially his son, who will also have a long recovery.
"I just want him to get back to a normal lifestyle," Lambert said. "His job demands that he's on his toes as a police officer and like I said before, dialysis weighs a lot on him."
Assistant Chief Barnes said the best way to help him is through prayer.
You can also make a donation to the Richard 'Red' Barnes/Roy Pugh benefit at any Security Bank branch.