San Diego, San Marcos friends part of historic organ exchange started in Greece
Scripps Health patients and doctors made history by participating in the first intercontinental kidney transplant paired donor chain, which started with a man in Greece and has grown to involve 10 organ donors and recipients.
The achievement was announced today at news conferences held at Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla, Calif., and at the Embassy of Greece in Washington, D.C.
“This is a new and exciting era in organ transplantation,” said Christopher Marsh, chief of transplant surgery at Scripps Green. “I hope this example motivates more people to donate their kidney to save lives.”
Expanding the pool of available donors beyond family circles and even national borders means patients will spend less time undergoing dialysis and on organ transplant waiting lists.
“Everyone at the transplant center at Scripps Green is thrilled to be part of this new breakthrough approach that gets patients transplanted sooner,” said Scripps Clinic transplant surgeon Jonathan Fisher, M.D., who participated in the news conference in Washington. “Dialysis can keep you alive, but a kidney transplant can give you your life back.”
Five lives already saved
Already, the chain has saved five lives and involved four medical centers spread across the United States.
In San Diego County, Genene Wiebe, a 49-year-old mother of four from San Marcos, donated one of her kidneys to an Ohio woman on May 21. Her friend Bernard Tatum, 58, of San Diego, received a kidney from a man in Kentucky several weeks earlier.
Both procedures were performed at Scripps Green by Drs. Fisher, Marsh and Randolph Schaffer , who were all ranked among the top 1 percent of transplant surgeons in U.S. News & World Report’s “Top Doctors” list in 2011.
Donor chain started by patient from Greece
Read more: http://www.scripps.org/news_items/4227-scripps-health-part-of-first-intercontinental-kidney-transplant-chain