Thirteen men and women have a second chance at life. They all received new kidneys in a groundbreaking series of transplants at Georgetown University Hospital and Washington Hospital Center. These 2 hospitals....applause.....got together and were able to match people to make it happen.
Paired kidney exchanges are now quite common, but 13 transplants at once...WOW!
It amounts to the largest kidney transplant in history. It was a complicated puzzle of mixing and matching 13 donors and 13 recipients.
One recipient, Christopher Conte a single father of four spent 10 hours a day on dialysis. "This is the most clear lesson about the kindness of strangers and never underestimate it."
Tom Otten, who donated his kidney, said, "My goal was to get my wife healed, but in addition to that, I got to help another family and be part of this whole big chain."
Then there are the Sylvia Glasers, the altruistic donors doctors hope this story inspires. Glaser didn't know anyone in need, but gave nonetheless.
She said, "It's doing a kindness and saving someone's life and that's what I feel that I've done."
Roughly 82,000 people are on the kidney transplant list in the U.S. The Washington Metro area has one of the highest rates of kidney disease.
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Harvey Mysel is a kidney transplant recipient and Founder of the Living Kidney Donors Network, a nonprofit organization that offers Workshops and Get-Togethers to educate people in need of a kidney transplant about living kidney donation and helps prepare them to effectively communicate their need to family members and friends. The Living Kidney Donors Network website is: www.lkdn.org and Harvey could be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter www.twitter.com/harveymysel