Source: SYV News
Because of damage from a liver transplant, a 71-year-old Santa Ynez woman now needs a kidney donor, and her husband is spreading the word.
Pamela Hastings had a liver transplant operation in April 2010, said Bill Hastings, her husband of 44 years.
During or after the liver surgery, her kidneys were damaged due to low blood flow and she now needs dialysis treatments three days a week in Lompoc, Bill Hastings said.
She will need dialysis — a costly, time consuming and exhausting process of artificial replacement for lost kidney function — for the rest of her life unless the kidneys begin functioning properly or she gets a kidney transplant.
Because of the commitment, the couple, who has lived in Santa Ynez for 17 years, can’t travel or be too far from the dialysis center.
Pamela has “put up with an awful lot,’ he said, but she has done “a marvelous job with her attitude.”
The kidney transplant center at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles told the couple last month it could take eight years to get a kidney transplant using an organ from a dead donor because the number of deceased donors is low compared to the number of patients that are waiting for a transplant kidney. Also, transplants from a deceased donor are often not successful with older recipients.
The human body has two kidneys but can function with only one kidney, so a kidney transplant from a living donor is an option.
Whether they are relatives, adoptive relatives, in-laws, friends, church members, spouses or altruistic individuals, becoming a living donor is a voluntary act that is without compensation, money or gifts for organ donation, Bill Hastings said.
Federal law prohibits the sale of organs for transplantation.
Ideal living donor volunteers are 21 to 70 years old (18 to 20 would also be considered), physically fit, in good health and free from hypertension, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, heart disease and hepatitis.
They are not required to have the same blood type, the same gender or be of the same race as the recipient.
Before designation as a living donor, each candidate completes a medical evaluation to ensure it is safe for the candidate to become a living donor.
Anyone willing to consider becoming a living donor, or knows someone who might be, can get more information from Bill Hastings at 688-0787 or 448-1564 or from the Cedars-Sinai Hospital Kidney Living Donor Transplant Team at 1-800-303-6235.