Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 15th 2016 Contents A32
body & soul
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, July 15, 2016
recalls weeks spent in a glass-enclosed
isolation room after her first kidney
transplant, her family allowed to visit
only when suited up against germs.
That transplant lasted a remarkable
four decades---and now Hudson s
recovery from a second one, this time
faster and surrounded by germy visitors,
showcases how far organ transplants
have come and the hurdles that still
"I m ready to be well again," Hudson
exclaimed before being wheeled into
an operating room at MedStar George-
town University Hospital last month,
far more confident than back at age 17
when she was that hospital s first recip-
ient of a living-donor kidney.
Hudson s initial donor, her older sis-
ter, has a scar stretching from belly to
side where doctors cut into her rib cage.
This time Hudson s husband donat-
ed, and went home two days after sur-
geons squeezed his kidney through a
roughly three-inch incision.
Hudson s own lupus-damaged kid-
neys were removed about a month
before her first transplant. That s hardly
ever done anymore---nonworking kid-
neys shrink to make room.
Back then, finding a donor was pretty
miraculous. It still is.
And with more than 120,000 people
on the USA s national waiting list for
a kidney or other donated organ---but
only about 30,000 transplants per-
formed each year---new moves are get-
ting underway to try to ease the critical
Efforts range from smartphone apps
letting would-be donors register with
a few clicks, to helping transplant cen-
tres use some organs that today would
be discarded for fear they re not good
"I really didn t think about getting
another kidney. How could I be that
fortunate?" said Hudson, 57, of Owings,
Maryland, who this time went home
five days after surgery.
"I just wish we could see more
donors coming out."
The average kidney from a deceased
donor lasts ten years, while one from
a living donor averages about 15 years,
said Dr David Klassen of UNOS, the
United Network for Organ Sharing,
which oversees the nation s transplant
Doctors can t explain why occasion-
ally people like Hudson beat those odds
by a lot.
Dana Hudson knew his wife wouldn t
ask for another kidney so when her
first deteriorated badly enough to
require dialysis, he volunteered.
Dr Matthew Cooper, Georgetown s
kidney and pancreas transplant director,
examined the fist-sized organ and pro-
claimed it "a beauty."
Sewing it into its new owner, how-
ever, would prove nerve-wracking.
More than 6,000 people died last
year waiting for a new kidney, liver,
lung or other organ, according to UNOS.
Last month, the White House issued
a call to reduce the wait, and highlighted
US$160 million in regenerative research
that one day might offer alternative
Kidneys are most in demand, with
nearly 100,000 people on the national
transplant list awaiting one.
"Without a transplant, we lose way
too many people," said Georgetown s
Cooper. "It s just an organ supply prob-
To try boosting that supply:
• Apple says its upcoming software
update will let iPhone users register as
an organ donor through its health app,
linking to Donate Life America s nation-
al registry. Georgetown also is devel-
oping an app for smartphones and
tablets that will allow a click for donor
• Studies are underway to preserve
donated organs longer by pumping
them with oxygenated fluids, and to
spur use of higher-risk organs that
work despite not being in optimal con-
dition, Klassen said.
• And the University of Pittsburgh
Medical Center and Donate Life
launched a new Facebook page to edu-
cate the public about the need for living
donors; fewer than 6,000 every year
give a kidney or part of their liver.
Back at Georgetown, where about a
third of kidney transplants now are
from living donors, Dana Hudson
underwent a battery of tests to be sure
he was healthy enough to live with one
The "keyhole" surgery used for living
donation today is easier on patients
but trickier for surgeons. Guided by a
miniature camera, Dr Seyed Ghasemian
inserted long-handled probes through
tiny abdominal incisions and painstak-
ingly snipped the kidney free from sur-
rounding tissue. It was producing plenty
of urine and had great blood vessels,
But he paused before severing that
blood supply, the point of no return.
Across the hall, Cooper had found a
problem with Brenda Hudson.
Hunched tensely over the operating
table, Cooper was uncovering arteries
hardened by high blood pressure and
Type 2 diabetes---no good for sewing
on her husband s kidney.
Finally the surgeons devised a way
for blood vessels to feed the incoming
Using high-tech imaging, researchers
scanned the kidney s filtering tubules
as part of a study to better determine
which donated organs will have the
Soon after being stitched into place,
Brenda Hudson s new kidney started
Two days later, she softly told her
husband: "It s pretty amazing what you
did for me, honey." (AP)
YOUR DAILY HEALTH
News and advice
In this photo taken June 28, Brenda Hudson talks to surgeon Dr Matthew Cooper as her husband and kidney
donor Dana Hudson watches, at left, before undergoing a kidney transplant at MedStar Georgetown
University Hospital in Washington. Hudson's first kidney transplant lasted four decades, and her second
showcases how far organ transplants have come and the hurdles that still await. AP PHOTO
have come a long way
but hurdles remain
Links Archive July 14th 2016 July 16th 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page