Haynes and Boone partner Matthew Deffebach(pictured) of Houston spent much of January preparing his labor and employment practice for a month-long hiatus while he recovers from elective surgery scheduled for today. Deffebach isn’t in ill health. Instead, the 39-year-old father of three is donating a kidney to the son of a longtime Haynes and Boone staffer. After learning in November 2009 that the Dallas man who is in dire need of a kidney transplant is married and the father of a 6-year-old boy, Deffebach decided he would do some medical testing to see if he might be a good kidney donor. As it turned out, Deffebach’s kidney was a good match, and he’s healthy, so the lawyer agreed to donate his kidney. Deffebach says he's going through the surgery because he couldn’t stand the thought of the man’s son growing up without a father. “I met him the day after I found out how bad his situation was,” Deffebach recalls. Deffebach and his wife have three young daughters. Jonathan Wilson, a labor and employment partner in Haynes and Boone in Dallas who works with Deffebach, says a number of lawyers at the firm agreed to be tested to see if they would be good kidney donors. He notes that Deffebach is a “very humble, gracious type of fellow” as well as a great lawyer, and his decision to provide a kidney for someone he didn’t know until recently is “astounding and honorable.” According to Deffebach, the man suffers from Berger’s disease, which can cause renal failure.
-- Brenda Sapino Jeffreys
UPDATE: Doug Bedell, manager of marketing communication for Haynes and Boone, says Wilson reports that the surgeries went smoothly and the kidney started functioning immediately after the transplant. Bedell says Wilson told the firm that everyone is overjoyed.