PENSACOLA, Fla. – A proposed kidney transplant that won two Mississippi sisters their freedom from prison can’t take place until one quits smoking and they lose a combined 160 pounds.
Jamie and Gladys Scott had served nearly 16 years of their life sentences for an armed robbery when they were released from a sprawling prison in central Mississippi on Jan. 7. Gov. Haley Barbour granted Jamie Scott an early release because she suffers from kidney failure, but he agreed to let Gladys Scott go on the condition she follow through on an offer to donate a kidney to her sister.
Jamie Scott told The Associated Press on Wednesday that she needs to lose more than 100 pounds and that her sister has to shed 60 pounds before their doctors will even test them for compatibility. Doctors are also requiring Gladys Scott, a heavy smoker, to quit.
“I have to stay on her about it, I am helping her to stop smoking,” said Jamie, who moved with her sister to Pensacola to be with their mother and children.
A personal trainer works twice a week with the sisters. They’ve also been taking aerobics classes.
Jamie Scott, 38, said she hopes to have a surgery that will help her lose weight so she can get the transplant sooner, but her doctors don’t know if she’s healthy enough. Florida parole records list her at 5 feet tall and 254 pounds.
Gladys Scott, 36, is listed at 4 feet 9 inches tall and 184 pounds.
Barbour hasn’t responded directly to numerous questions from The Associated Press about whether he’ll send the sisters back to prison if the transplant doesn’t happen. He’s called questions about such a scenario “purely hypothetical.”
When asked Wednesday about the sisters having to lose weight for the surgery, Barbour spokesman Dan Turner said: “That’s a medical call, not something imposed as a condition of their release.”