CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – The House of Delegates gave a standing ovation on Tuesday when word that one of their own was returning to work after a surprising absence. Delegate Sean Hornbuckle (D – Cabell) was welcomed back to the House of Delegates with open arms after missing the first few days of the Legislative Session while he was recovering from organ donation surgery. Surgery to save his younger sister.

“It was the only thing to do, it was my baby sister and I am naturally a person that likes to help folks but it was even more important because I got the chance to save my sister’s life,” says Hornbuckle.

Hornbuckle’s little sister- Kara – was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at a young age. Years of living with the disease took a toll on her kidneys and at the age of 25, she was put on home dialysis. Eventually, the kidney failure forced her to seek help at a dialysis center…and also led to Hornbuckle’s decision.

In a statement to 13 News, Kara Hornbuckle said:

“From the very beginning when I found out I was sick in April of 2017, while I was in the hospital, the first thing sean said was how can I give you one of my kidneys. I was very overwhelmed and uncertain of how the process even worked. I didn’t realize it’s such a long process . When I went through work up that took almost a year between referrals and my testing . Once I was actively on the donor list I sent Sean the info for the living donor team as his team and my team worked separately until they gave him the ok. I was never really certain that I wanted him to do it because just like he is with me I always want to make sure that he’s okay . I didn’t know what all it would entail for him and that worried me. After talking with some living donors that I know , they assured me he would be okay as they are all doing very well . Everyday wasn’t easy but Sean and so many other people were always there to encourage me on my rough days. My faith kept me positive and knowing that it was going to happen but that it wasn’t my timing but Gods timing. I’m not sure if it was even possible for Sean and I to be any closer , he’s always best friend and like a dad since our dad passed on my 15th birthday. I’m sure our dad is super proud of him for just being him , the most selfless person I know. Some people are amazed at his gesture but if you know him you know that it’s just who he is he always puts others before himself . We are both recovering well, and I’m so happy he made it back to the capitol today, he’s such a champion for me and for this state!”

We’re told it will take at least twelve weeks before the Cabell County Representative can begin physical activity and up to a year for full recovery, but he tells 13 news he is ready to be back at the capitol and start serving the people of West Virginia.