BUTLER COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) — Back and better than ever, a Kansas man has returned to work as a paramedic following a lengthy health battle.
“This is what I have always loved to do,” said Shawn Lamm.
Lamm, 46, started with Butler County EMS in June of 2022, just a few months after receiving a new kidney from a stranger by the name of Sarah Navarro.
“Basically, Sarah gave me a second chance at life, and I am able to take care of the patients that I love and take care of my family financially now,” he said.
Lamm spent 22 years as an EMT, paramedic, and EMS lieutenant in south-central Kansas. In 2018, he was forced to leave his career after he learned his kidneys were failing. In August of 2021, KSN shared his story after he put a plea for a new kidney on Facebook.
“There are good people in the world. Sarah, my donor, we didn’t know each other from adam, and we were connected through KSN, and so there are people out there that will help and want to help. You just have to put the footwork in to ask for that help,” Lamm explained.
“That story had came on within a couple of minutes of turning on the TV to KSN, and after watching it, we just kind of looked at each other and felt like we needed to do something,” said Navarro, “My grandfather had passed away a year ago from kidney failure, and I kind of feel like he was reaching out to me.”
Lamm and Navarro had successful surgery on March 9, 2022.
“My recovery was pretty quick. I felt better almost immediately after the transplant. The very next day, I was up roaming around the halls and walking several times a day,” Lamm said. “I have had more energy than I have had since I was in high school.”
Against the odds, Lamm returned to Butler County EMS, a department he previously worked for, three months later.
“They weren’t expecting me to come back to work for probably at least a minimum of six months,” he explained.
Lamm said he is forever grateful for Sarah, adding he has learned a great deal about what matters in life through his health journey.
“Don’t take life for granted,” Lamm said. “Be diligent about taking care of your physical and mental health.”