PUNE: In the first such instance in the country and the second in the world, the liver of a 42-year-old brain dead woman, who herself received a kidney transplant two years ago, has been donated and successfully transplanted into a 66-year old liver cirrhosis patient.What makes the case unusual, say experts, is that the woman’s liver was found fit to be harvested and transplanted despite she having been on immunosuppressive drugs for the last two years. Immunosuppressive drugs are administered to make a recipient’s body less likely to reject a transplanted organ.
The longer a person is on them, the more likely it is that the drugs would affect the body’s vital organs rendering them unfit for transplant. The woman, who worked with Doordarshan in Mumbai, was declared braindead on January 1 after suffering intracranial bleeding.
The liver transplant, which took place about a week ago, has charted a new course in the field of organ donation as transplant recipients can now be recognised as potential donors on being declared braindead, experts said.
When contacted, professor Vimal Bhandari, director of National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO), said, “Such a case has never been reported before. This is perhaps the first case in India where a donor who was herself a kidney recipient donated her liver that gave a new lease of life to another needy patient.”
NOTTO is the apex networking organisation created with the primary aim of building a national network of hospitals with the capability of “retrieving” organs and also developing a national registry.
“We’ve got transplant or death,” Grant Hessman says. “There’s no way to put it gently.”
Hessman is talking about his 3-year-old son Kolton, who has been on life support for more than 60 days in a Nashville hospital waiting for a new heart. His has a half-dozen deformities. He has flat-lined four times.
There is little joy in Kolton’s hospital room, none of the loud laughter and hijinks and wonder that embodies 3-year-olds without tubes in their noses.
But there is love. And there is protection, honor and warm blankets from the country’s men and women in blue.
Before Kolton wound up at Vanderbilt University Hospital in August, his heart about to give out, he was just a little boy obsessed with the police.
“We’d be driving down the road and he could spot them far away,” Hessman said. “He’d point at them before I could even see them. He’s just always been fascinated by them.”
A Facebook page to keep family members and friends updated on Kolton’s condition features pictures of him in a S.W.A.T uniform. Boston police officer Kevin Welsh stumbled on the page late last year.
“I was just looking at the screen and saw a picture of Kolton, a beautiful little boy,” Welsh told Fox News. “When I read his story, it moved me to tears.”
Welsh sent Kolton a care package with toy police cars and Boston Police badges. He spread the word online to other departments. Since then, almost every day has brought packages and hospital visits from police officers — some driving hundreds of miles to meet and pray for the little boy.
Officers in Texas, Maryland, Iowa, Tennessee and elsewhere have sent dozens of police badges warn by officers, autographed pictures of S.W.A.T. teams, toys, sunglasses, teddy bears, and cards. The Hendersonville, Tenn., police sent a blanket decorated with a police car.
“It has been overwhelming and moving,” Hessman said. “It hasn’t stopped.”
Kolton is alert enough that he’s been able to see and acknowledge some of the gifts. Tennessee State Patrol officers stopped by recently, put a hat on Kolton’s head, and took a picture with their thumbs up. Kolton, naked except for a diaper, appeared to put his thumb up too.
Hessman hasn’t been able to work — he delivers temperature controlled packages for FedEx — for months. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with expenses. But that’s not why he’s been giving interviews and allowing television cameras into his son’s hospital room.
Hessman wants to save his son’s life and many more by bringing attention to organ donation, which he feels there isn’t enough education about, particularly at driver’s license agencies where people can sign up to be donors.
He wants people to be told that, according to major transplant organizations, one donor can save eight lives, that donation is supported by all major religions, that donors can still have open casket funerals.
And Hessman also wants the country to know about the goodness of so many police officers.
“There is so much hatred right now,” he said. “But there are officers out there every day doing good deeds, helping people in need, but nobody is recording them doing that.”
To learn about organ donation, click here.
To help Kolton’s family, click here.
Last night, a picture of get-well cards was posted.
“Keep fighting Kolton,” one said. “You’re a very strong person and we’re thinking about you everyday!”
It was signed, “Boston Police Academy Recruit Class 56-16.”
Risk Factors for Skin Cancer Among Transplant Recipients
Cancer Therapy Advisor
Skin cancer following organ transplantation is common in the United States, with increased age, being Caucasian or male, and undergoing thoracic organ transplantation each conferring an elevated risk, according to a study published in JAMA Dermatology.1.
“Thousands more men, women and children are receiving a life-saving transplant opportunity each year,” said Stuart Sweet, MD, PhD, President of the OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors. “We are deeply grateful to all who have chosen to help others through the life-saving act of organ donation. We are also very conscious that many more people are still anxiously awaiting a transplant, so we must continue to work with our partners in the donation and transplant community to meet the needs of those who continue to wait.”
The growth in overall transplants was largely driven by an increase of 9.2% in the number of deceased donors from 2015 to 2016, continuing a six-year trend of annual increases. Many deceased donors provide multiple organs for transplantation.
Approximately 82% (27,628) of the transplants involved organs from deceased donors. The remaining 18 % (5,978) were performed with organs from living donors.
“This increase in organ transplants is partly a realization of an ongoing commitment to improvement at organ procurement organizations, transplant hospitals, and UNOS,” said Brian Shepard, UNOS’ Chief Executive Officer. “Organ transplantation has long been at the forefront of data-driven quality improvement, and OPOs and UNOS are working together on a technology-driven transformation in the way organ donors are identified and recovered.”
In addition, an increasing number of deceased donors in 2016 had medical characteristics or a medical history that, in prior years, may have been considered less often by clinicians. These include people who donated after circulatory death as opposed to brain death, as well as donors who died of drug intoxication or those identified as having some increased risk for bloodborne disease.
“While donation and transplant professionals always use their best medical judgment in evaluating donors and organ offers, over the last several years we’ve had success using organs from donors with certain criteria we may not have accepted in the past,” said David Klassen, M.D., UNOS’ Chief Medical Officer. “Among our key goals as the OPTN, working with our members nationwide, is to ensure that as many organs as possible are accepted and used for the patients who will benefit from them the most, while maintaining high levels of patient safety.” (See OPO leaders describe effective practices to increase the number of organs donated.)
United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) serves as the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) by contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Division of Transplantation. The OPTN brings together medical professionals, transplant recipients and donor families to develop national organ transplantation policy.
YORK, Pa. — An operation for a liver transplant was underway Saturday morning at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia when Dr. Warren Maley called and said there was a problem.
The SUV transporting Maley, two other people and a preserved liver — on ice and inside a box — had left York Hospital on-time but slid on a slippery road in Lancaster County and crashed, rendering it inoperable, he said.
“We started exploring different options, having an ambulance take us, calling state police,” Maley said.
That’s when East Cocalico Township Police Sgt. Darrick Keppley, who had responded to the crash, stepped up.
“He right away said he would be glad to take us back,” Maley said of Keppley. “That was a godsend, because it meant we only had an hour delay, instead of three or four hours if we had waited for someone to pick us up.”
Liver unharmed in crash
Maley, along with an assistant and a Gift of Life employee, acquired the liver from a patient at York Hospital earlier that morning and then left for Thomas Jefferson in an SUV driven by a transport company contracted by Gift of Life, an organ donor organization, he said.
Citing patient confidentiality, Maley said he could not say very much about the donor or the recipient. Dan Carrigan, York Hospital spokesman, deferred questions about the case to Gift of Life.
Gift of Life’s Randy Presant issued a statement Tuesday, saying it is Gift of Life’s policy not to comment on specific cases to protect the privacy of their donors and recipients. Presant said in the news release that there are more than 5,600 area residents awaiting life-saving organ transplants, with more than 119,000 patients nationwide on the organ transplant waiting list. One organ and tissue donor can save and enhance the lives of up to 75 people.
Maley said the liver, once extracted from the donor, was triple-bagged in a preservative solution, surrounded by ice, placed in a Styrofoam cooler and then put inside a cardboard box.
The box did not sustain any damage, and no one in the vehicle suffered injuries in the crash, which occurred just before 9:30 a.m. Saturday near the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
“They were getting off Route 22 to get on the turnpike and the transport vehicle slid off the roadway,” East Cocalico Township Police Sgt. Chris Progin said.
The SUV then struck a median, disabling the front tire, Progin said.
Maley then called the operating room at Thomas Jefferson, where the operation had already started.
“I think the whole OR was pretty shook up,” both about the crash and the liver, he said.
Lights and siren
Leaving the Gift of Life employee with the driver to wait for a tow truck, Maley and his assistant piled in to Keppley’s cruiser.
“I told the officer I wanted to sit up front because I didn’t want to feel like a perpetrator,” he said. So the assistant sat in the cramped backseat, along with the liver.
Progin said Keppley hit his lights and sirens and took the doctors and the liver onto the turnpike and then to the Schuylkill Expressway to the hospital.
“There are really two heroes in this story,” Maley said, “and that’s the donor and their family and the police officer who drove us down.”
Maley said the operation was a success.
“Everything went very, very well and our recipient’s doing well,” he said.
The crash did give Maley some pause. In 25 years of overseeing organ transplants, he’s never been in a crash.
“It’s something I don’t give much thought to,” he said. “I guess it’s something that we need to think more about.”
There have been fewer disqualifications of deceased donations over time, explained Dr. David Klassen, chief medical officer of the organ sharing network, which serves under federal contract and brings together medical professionals, transplant …
- Byson Bennett, four, received a liver transplant on December 27, 2015
- The boy’s mother Jasmine was told he wouldn’t be alive for second birthday
- He was rejected from organ register at 18-months-old because of his illness
The mother of a four-year-old liver transplant patient has described the amazing moment her baby son got a second chance at life.
Byson Bennett, four, from Christchurch in New Zealand badly needed a new liver from the time he was 18-months old but he couldn’t have one so instead his family were told to say their goodbyes.
His mother Jasmine Bennett remembers the heartache of finding out she might lose her youngest child like it was yesterday.
Jasmine and Byson Bennett before Byson’s transplant – he was severely jaundiced before the new liver became available
Byson, centre, with his brother, Julius and sister Oceanah after the operation
Byson was born with water on the brain and a liver condition which made it difficult for his body to function
‘We went to Auckland and we were told he couldn’t go on the transplant list because the doctors didn’t know if giving him a new liver would make him live another five years, and that was part of the criteria,’ Ms Bennett said.
‘We were told to have his second birthday early because he wouldn’t make it.
‘I still remember the hardest part of being told to go home was knowing that I could lose my son.’
Byson survived past his birthday and continued to exceed doctors’ expectations.
And in May 2015 the family got a phone call to say the criteria had changed and baby Byson could go on the list for a new liver.
Ms Bennett was over the moon and offered up part of her own liver to her son.
‘I had a few tests and then I was told it wouldn’t work – it was heart breaking,’ she said.
The mother-of-three said the family then waited seven months for a phone call which would change Byson’s life forever.
The young boy was denied access to a liver transplant when he was 18-months-old – but is doing much better now
‘It came on December 27 at 3am. We were told there was a liver for Byson and we had to be on a plane to Auckland in two hours,’ she said.
‘We were in so much shock but we jumped out of bed, woke up the kids and made it to the airport just in time to get on the plane.’
By the time the family ‘got the call’ Byson had turned a dark shade of yellow as he was suffering from severe jaundice because his liver couldn’t do the job it needed to do.
Just 23 hours after Ms Bennett had woken from the life-saving phone call, Byson was being wheeled out of the operating room at Auckland’s Starship Children’s Hospital.
The Christmas before Byson’s transplant – the young boy was notably yellow as his liver struggled to do its job
He has now had his new liver for just over 12 months and his quality of life improves every day.
‘He must have been in a lot of pain before – because he is developing a lot more quickly now,’ his mother said.
‘He is rolling over, he sings, he talks and he plays with his brother and sister.’
Byson also has a condition known as hydrocephalus – or ‘water on the brain’ – and still relies on Ms Bennett to be tube fed, but is much more independent than he used to be.
‘The liver has taken really well – we haven’t had any problems yet,’ Jasmine said
‘The liver has taken really well – we haven’t had any problems yet,’ she said.
‘He is more active now and has so much more energy.’
Not much is known about his brain condition so the busy mum says she just has to ‘wait and see’ as far as his development goes.
‘We do know that he shouldn’t need another liver transplant which is great,’ she said.
Byson turns five on Friday – an amazing achievement for a boy who ‘wasn’t going to make it to his second birthday’, his proud mother said.
Byson is now ‘more energetic’ and doing some things independently
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