From Slammer to Surgery: Kidney-Sharing Sisters Released from Mississippi Prison

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Jamie Scott waves from a vehicle as she and her sister Gladys Scott leave the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Pearl, Miss., Friday, Jan. 7, 2011.

Rogelio V. Solis / AP

Jamie and Gladys Scott were serving a life sentence in a Mississippi prison for armed robbery. But now the two sisters are trading crime for charity.

Jamie, 36, has suffered a debilitating kidney illness during her 16-year lockup. She faced dialysis three times each week, costing the state of Mississippi nearly $200,000 a year. Miss. Governor Haley Barbour agreed to release both women early in the interest of Jamie’s health, with one caveat: her 38-year-old sister Gladys must donate her kidney to Jamie. Within the next year, as terms of her parole, Gladys must go under the knife to help heal her sister. But there are some catches in the benevolent plan.

(More on TIME.com: See the top 10 brazen heists.)

The sisters drove away from central Mississippi Friday morning for the beachy Florida Panhandle, where their mother lives. They’re no longer under Miss. jurisdiction when they cross the state line. Most crucially, Gladys still must be tested to see if the kidney is a match.

(More on TIME.com: See video of the town that doesn’t want its prison to close.)

Still, the American Society of Transplantation spoke out against the alleged coercion of Gladys to donate the kidney. Could she face a return to prison if the transplant falls through? “The decision to donate an organ should be a truly selfless act,” AST President Dr. Maryl R. Johnson told the AP.

But if the organ is a match and helps to save Jamie’s life, that’s one deal that NewsFeed can lock into. (via CNN)

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