It’s still early in 2010, but the runaway leader in the clubhouse for feelgood Biglaw story of the year is coming out of Haynes and Boone. It was widely reported last week that Matthew Deffebach, a partner at Haynes and Boone, donated a kidney to the son of a staffer at the firm.
Deffebach didn’t know the staffer personally, but when another partner asked for volunteers to help this child, a number of Haynes and Boone partners were tested. Deffebach was a match. Texas Lawyer has this amazing quote from Deffebach:
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.
The reports say that the surgery went smoothly.
I can’t get enough of this good news story shining through in the middle of this bad news recession. After the jump, we’ve got some comments from the staffer, and a note from Matthew Deffebach.
The staffer — who didn’t mind being identified — is Iva York. She is the legal secretary to HayBoo partner Jonathan Wilson. It was Wilson who initially asked his colleagues if anybody could help out York’s son.
York is understandably grateful for the kindness of Deffebach. She told Above the Law:
The selfless act of Matt and his wife is just beyond words and is absolutely amazing- they worked together to give life to another. Jonathan Wilson got the ball rolling with his e-mail to his Partners in the Firm advising them of Mitch’s need, and the rest is history. No matter how we try to thank Jonathan and Matt, nothing seems to convey properly our gratitude and thanks. Faith in God and knowing God is in control is what brought all of this about and brought all of us together. My family is so indebted to Matt and his family, and now we are all one family. Talk about restoring your faith in humanity – WOW!
Most appropriate use of all-caps, ever.
Deffebach seems to be doing well. He sent out the following email today to the firm to let everybody know how things were going:
Good Morning! While I have tried to respond to each individual call and email I have received, I wanted to drop this brief note to everyone included in this original email. You should be proud, as I am, of our Firm, as I can report that the outpouring of support from within the Firm confirms once again that we are a true team and our culture is real.
Iva has a strong commitment to our Firm and as Jonathan said in his first email about Mitch’s condition, she is a “true team player.” It honestly did not take me long to put myself in Mitch’s shoes and think about losing my family to know what I needed to do for Iva (and her son) as part of our team. I am grateful for all of you who have sent thoughts and prayers to me and Mitch and for the generosity extended to our families. I am convinced the surge of support from so many helped us through the surgery. The kidney started working immediately when implanted and Mitch is out of the hospital with exceptional kidney function. I should be released to return to Houston later today for the remainder of my recovery. It is simply amazing and “thank you” again for helping to make it so. Finally, a big thanks to Jonathan who made this happen for Mitch by sending out his first email and championing the cause for Iva and for, along with Bill Strock, taking care of me since my discharge Saturday.
I look forward to seeing all of you down the road. Matt
Truly, I’m at a loss for words. And it’s getting a little bit dusty in here, I think I have something in my eyes.
Humanity win for Haynes and Boone.