Kidney Doctor Donates Kidney To Help Wife
BOSTON(WBZ) More than 12 million people suffer from polycystic kidney disease, a painful condition which can cause their kidneys to fail. One local doctor is not only treating patients, but has donated his own kidney to save a stranger's life, and ultimately, his wife's.
Dr. Andrew Levey has treated hundreds of kidney patients over the past three decades. "I came to Tufts in 1979 to study how to take care of people with kidney disease."
So it was only natural that he wanted to donate one of his kidneys to his wife when hers started to fail. Levey's wife, Dr. Roberta Falke explains, "I was very moved, I've always been moved by any person who donates any part of them, to help another person, I think that's extraordinary."
Dr. Levey says, "I've counseled dozens of patients about the benefits of being a kidney donor, if felt like I got to practice what I preach."
But Dr. Levey knew he wasn't a match for his wife of 30 years. That's why he decided to take part in a six-way kidney swap last December which allowed his wife to get a life-saving transplant from another donor. "It's very satisfying. I've never had a chance to help anyone like that, its nice to have that opportunity."
Dr. Levey's colleague, Dr Ronald Perrone, who helped to coordinate the kidney exchange says, "I've been arranging kidney transplants for years but to see if benefit your colleague and friend, is very powerful, it's truly the gift of life."
The Levey family will be taking part in the annual Walk For PKD for a seventh year to help raise money for research and to help patients like Roberta.
Dr. Levey explains, "We just don't have enough treatments. It's a hot area of research, testing medicines to slow the growth of cysts and development of kidney failure."
Dr. Falke and Dr. Levey and dozens of other patients and their families will be taking part in a fundraising Walk for the PKD Foundation on Saturday, Sept 25th at Artesani Park in Brighton at 10 am.
For more information about PKD or the walk, go to www.bostonpkdwalk.org or if you'd like to learn more about organ donation, visit www.neob.org or pkdcure.org.