Meg Farris / Medical Reporter

NEW ORLEANS -- Lois Watkins Smitherman, 54 of Fort Worth, was hoping to help her identical twin sister Lynn Watkins, 54 of New Orleans, when her lupus illness destroyed her kidney function.

But doctors said since they both have the genetic illness, donating a kidney to her sister would put Smitherman in jeopardy if her own lupus ever hurt her kidneys.

After the original story ran, several viewers called to donate a kidney.

Watkins was supposed to get a transplant from her second cousin from Baton Rouge on Tuesday, but doctors at Tulane Medical Center found a heart condition from the lupus that would make the surgery unsafe.

Watkins will now have to continue on regular dialysis while doctors determine if her heart condition can be treated to make her strong enough to go through the transplant surgery.

The twins got the disappointing news yesterday on their 54th birthday.

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