Saturday, February 12, 2011

Friday visit to NY Presbyterian

Yesterday morning, I was up and out the door by 6:30 am to head down to NY Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan for the purpose of having my blood drawn so they can find a suitable recipient for my donated kidney. The visit itself was pretty uneventful, but it gave me the opportunity to learn more from Marian about the whole process.

This donation chain has been apparently been broken into 3 clusters and Jeanne and I are involved in the last of the three clusters. Each cluster is a series of closely spaced sets of kidney removal and kidney insertion surgeries. The first two clusters have already been completed and the last cluster will consist of just two transplants. On Wednesday, the 23rd, a kidney will be removed from a donor at the UCLA Medical Center. This person's partner has already received their kidney sometime earlier this month as part of cluster 2. That night, the kidney will be flown across the country to NYC (everyone pray for some good weather!) and then placed into Jeanne sometime on Thursday the 24th. On Friday, the 25th, I will go in for surgery to have one of my own kidneys removed (funny - it didn't strike me until just now to wonder which one). It will be placed into a soon-to-be-determined recipient, presumably sometime later that same day at the same hospital.

I asked Marian if we would ever find out more about everyone involved in the process. She said that it was likely we would. I think it would be exciting to meet some of the other people involved in this chain. I would most especially like to meet the person at the front of the process. That is the most special person of all. Most of the people involved in my process, like myself, are donated a kidney on the condition that someone they know and love is getting one in return. But, what is required to get one of these chains going is a so-called "altruistic donor" - that is, a person who donates their kidney to noone in particular, as was the case with Melissa back in 2008.

If you want to get a good feel for how these living donor transplant chains work, read this article that I happened across earlier today. It sounds like it was a very similar chain to the one we are part of, as it involves both the UCLA Medical Center and a person with PKD just like ours does.

I'll do my best to keep up with my blogging as we go through this process over the next few weeks. I know the last couple of years have been pretty slow for this blog - but 2010 in particular was a very tough year for us and I just couldn't bring myself to blog about all of the hospital visits, surgeries and dialysis sessions that Jeanne has had to endure. Those of you who read these entries on Facebook may want to directly check the blog at if you want up-to-date info, as Facebook seems to take nearly a whole day to get around to importing these entries in.

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