May. 8th, 2014

gb_lindsey: (celtic cross)
In my everyday life, I work in living donor kidney transplant. That means that someone donates one of their two healthy kidneys to another person who is suffering from some form of kidney disease or failure. Living Donor kidneys tend to last longer than cadaveric kidneys (those donated from a deceased individual). The surgery itself is healthier for both donor and recipient: it's planned ahead of time, and no one has to jump up and rush to the hospital on a moment's notice.

And then, of course, there's this little gem: The Kidney Chain.

Last month, my center organized a chain of its own.

Today I got to watch four donors, one of whom was an altruistic donor (i.e., he had no recipient in mind; he just wanted to donate a kidney to someone in need) and four recipients meet each other for the first time after surgery. These are four pairs of donor/recipients who did not match each other as originally planned, but instead matched other people in other pairs.

This means that four people who might not have received a transplant got a healthy kidney. This means that four other people moved closer to transplant on the kidney transplant list, because these other four recipients moved off of it. This means that four people gave the gift of life to four other people they didn't know. This means that the last recipient on the list got a transplant far sooner than he probably would have while waiting on the list. This means that today, amidst cool, breezy weather, I got to meet eight healthy individuals and their families.

I honestly love that I can pause at the end of the day and say, "Hot damn, I love what I do."

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