28-person kidney exchange marked in D.C.
A group of organ donors and their recipients gathered in Washington Tuesday to celebrate what doctors called the largest ever kidney exchange.
Fourteen donors gave their kidneys to patients in operations performed between May 26 and June 12 at four D.C.-area hospitals: Georgetown University Hospital, Washington Hospital Center, Children's National Medical Center and Inova Fairfax Hospital.
The group met for the first time in an emotional gathering at Washington Hospital Center.
“It’s nice to know that there are still decent people left in the world,” kidney recipient Jeffrey Tucker, 50, told reporters at the gathering.
Transplant chains are created when each donor agrees to give their kidney to a stranger so that a loved one can get a kidney from someone else. (See a chart explaining the logistics).
The domino-like series of exchanges was kicked off May 26 after the unexpected death of a 24-year-old Florida woman Jennifer Whitford, whose mother made the decision to donate her organs.
"If my daughter's organs can help others, that gives me incredible comfort," Whitford's mother, Denise Milliken, said in a statement.
Doctors heralded the success in overcoming such a complex logistical challenge.
"This particular exchange is a beautiful example of how we need more donors of all kinds and how the different types of donors can come together and make this wonderful life-saving chain," said Keith Melancon, director of the kidney program at Georgetown University Hospital.
-- Mike McPhate
Posted by: dave65 | June 17, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse
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