Thanksgiving 2010 Special for 1st Patient to Undergo Kidney Transplant at Advocate Christ Medical Center
By Julie Nakis
Source: TribLocal, Joliet, Illinois
Thanksgiving Day promises to be extra special for a Joliet, Ill. family. That’s because wife and mother of two, Diane Tutt, received a second chance at life as a result of a series of fortunate circumstances.
After five months of fighting kidney failure with daily dialysis, Diane received a new kidney on August 18 by becoming the first patient to undergo kidney transplant surgery at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill.
The donor organ not only proved to be a perfect genetic match for Diane, whose successful, quick recovery enabled her to leave the hospital just five days following the operation, but it came in record time. The average wait for a kidney is five years, but Diane was notified only three weeks after joining the organ waiting list that there was a match for her.
Deepak Mital MD, director of the kidney transplant program at Christ Medical Center and the physician who led the transplant team for Diane’s surgery, said, “receiving a kidney in that short of time is akin to winning the lottery.” Transplantation results in improved longevity and quality of life for patients on dialysis, so it was imperative that Diane obtain a kidney sooner rather than later, he said.
To celebrate Diane’s good fortune – and her new chance at life, Advocate Christ Medical Center hosted an early Thanksgiving celebration in her honor on November 18. Diane was surrounded by family, friends, and members of the hospital transplant team for a traditional turkey meal with all the trimmings – much unlike the usual hospital fare.
“I have so many things to be thankful about, and I feel special to celebrate Thanksgiving with Dr. Mital and his staff,” said Diane, who also pointed out that she gets to celebrate two Thanksgiving days in one week.
Dr. Mital is confident that Christ Medical Center’s new kidney transplant program will grow into a ”robust service” to meet the needs of residents of the south and southeast sides of Chicago and the south and southwest suburbs in the metropolitan area. “There has been an enormous need for a transplant program in this region, and Christ Medical Center has all the necessary specialists and technology to provide transplantation services,” he said.
In fact, the transplant team assembled at Christ Medical Center is an experienced one, having been involved in more than 3,500 kidney transplantations in the past.
Darshika Chhabra MD, a transplant nephrologist at Christ Medical Center, said she noticed an urgent need for a transplant program in the south suburbs when she learned that some patients were forgoing needed surgery because the nearest kidney transplant hospitals were too far of a drive.
Meanwhile, Diane Tutt has resumed the normal life that she had before her kidney went into failure, and she will celebrate the holidays at home with her family free of dialysis.