Dallas judge receives life-changing kidney transplant from fellow judge

Former Chief Justice of the Fifth Court of Appeals Carolyn Wright has received a life-changing gift.

The first African American chief justice in Texas and first African American woman to win a multi-county election in our state faced an uncertain future after kidney failure until a former coworker's generosity turned things around.

For six years, David Evans and Carolyn Wright rendered decisions together on the Fifth Court of Appeals in Dallas. However, no decision was more important than this one to them.

“When I got pneumonia, I got sepsis,” Wright recalled. “Then after the sepsis, I had multiple organ failure. I was on life support, and then I was in a coma for two months.”

Wright survived, but her kidneys did not. Family and friends wanted to give her a kidney, but none matched.

That’s when David Evans, who now presides over the 95th civil district court, decided to give Justice Wright, who he has known for decades, one of his kidneys.

“I feel good donating my kidney to Carolyn,” he said. “She's a very brave and courageous woman to be fighting for her life.”

Ross Evans is Judge Evans’ son.

“He's very generous to be giving away a member of his own body to help a friend and somebody who is truly in need,” Ross said.

Living kidney donors are increasingly becoming the transplant trend at Baylor Scott and White.

"We did over 50 last year. We're gonna make a record number this year. We're hoping for 70 to 75 this year,” said Johanna Bayer with the hospital. “A lot of times, getting a living donor kidney these people even do better. These kidneys work faster and they last longer.”

“I think it’s a God thing,” Wright said. “I think that it is the God that is working in him that met the God in me, and I’m just so very, very grateful for that gift.”

Wright hopes Evans’ act of kindness encourages others to consider living organ donation.