Volleyball coach ready to return after life-saving surgery
by Bob Brownne
Aug 28, 2014 | 1992 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mountain House High volleyball coach Heather Lamb helps Mariana Holtz with her serve form during a practice in June. Lamb underwent kidney transplant surgery on Aug. 12.  Press file photo
Mountain House High volleyball coach Heather Lamb helps Mariana Holtz with her serve form during a practice in June. Lamb underwent kidney transplant surgery on Aug. 12. Press file photo
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Mountain House High School’s first volleyball match tonight will be a new start for Heather Lamb, the Mustang team’s coach.

She is recovering from kidney transplant surgery. While her doctors at U.C. San Francisco have cleared her to return to her coaching job, as of Thursday she was still awaiting word from Lammersville Unified School District on whether she could return to the team’s practices.

Either way, she said she wouldn’t miss tonight’s 5 p.m. match at the Mountain House High main gym, when the Mustangs will face the Millennium High Falcons junior varsity team. The team expects at least a few hundred fans.

“Just based on a few community Facebook posts, there will be a good crew out there,” Heather Lamb said, adding that if she’s not there as a coach, she’ll support the team as a fan. “I will be there no matter what.”

She went in for kidney transplant surgery Aug. 12, more than five years after she was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure. By the time of the surgery, her kidneys, which filter out toxins from the blood stream, were functioning at 12 percent. Her options were limited to either continual dialysis and a life expectancy of 10 years or less, or a kidney transplant.

Her husband, Jim Lamb, offered to donate a kidney, but tests showed that antibodies in her blood would likely reject his organ. Through a nationwide registry, the Lambs were able to join an exchange chain that involved 16 people, including eight donors and eight recipients.

Heather Lamb said she got a kidney from a donor in Southern California, while her husband gave a kidney to a person in Virginia.

“It was definitely a life-saving and life-changing experience for me,” she said, adding that right after the transplant, the nausea and fatigue that had limited her activities were gone.

“I didn’t realize how much the quality of my life had changed until I got out of surgery. It’s like a fog was lifted,” she said. “The thought of being able to get back to normal, healthy living is very exciting to me.”

Contact Bob Brownne at brownne@tracypress.com or 830-4227.

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