Saturday, June 30, 2012

Family finds comfort in knowing daughter’s death saved 3 lives

News Observer
SMITHFIELD -- There are a lot of things Tonya Weaver’s family doesn’t know about her death.

They don’t know exactly how the 24-year-old mother of two fell from a moving truck on the night of June 22 in Four Oaks.

And, they don’t know how they are going to pay to have her remains cremated.

The one thing they do know, however, brings them comfort. Three people got a new shot at life as a result of her untimely death.

As an organ donor, Weaver’s heart, liver, and kidneys went to separate recipients, three of 114,000 people nationwide waiting and hoping for their second chance, according to Carolina Donor Services in Durham.

“She saved lives and that means a lot to me,” said her father, Ricky Weaver. “It makes me feel a lot better.”

Weaver, mother of a 2-year-old son and a 5-year-old daughter, was riding with her fiancé Charles Pitman Jr. last weekend in her father’s truck. While traveling west on Spring Lake Road, Weaver exited the white 1993 Ford pickup through the passenger door.

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Four years ago, Erik Compton was given a third life when he had a second heart transplant. Erik, a baseball lover, always had the passion to play baseball but his health never allowed him. He was suffering from viral cardiomyopathy, a disease which inflames the heart.

The doctors told him that playing physically demanding sports will deteriorate his physical condition ever more. Compton always had severe heart issues, his first transplant took place when he was 12.

Back in 2008, he was suddenly rushed to the hospital from the golf course. Compton had a cardiac arrest and he was forced to undergo another transplant.

Since then, Compton has been advised extreme care. Moreover, he takes almost three dozen tablets on a daily basis, owing to his physical state.

Compton is currently playing his first season on the PGA Tour, and after the first round at the AT&T National, Compton is 2-over.

He shot 73 in the opening round and considering the heat and his health condition, this is decent enough an effort from the 32-year-old.

“It is unbelievable that he made it to the tour,” said Charlie DeLucca, Compton’s longtime coach. “It is more unbelievable that he is alive”.

This season, so far, Compton has played a total of 15 events on the PGA Tour and has managed to make the cut in 10 of them.

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Help me to live’ Sheffield man - UK

The Star

STUNNED David Acaster went to the doctor complaining of a chest infection - and was told he would die if he does not get a heart transplant.

The 50-year-old warehouseman from Ecclesfield, Sheffield, has been too ill to have the tests to see if a transplant is possible.

In the next few weeks he is hoping he will recover enough to be put on the waiting list for donation - and then must cross his fingers and hope a suitable heart comes up.

Father-of-four David told The Star: “I just thought I had a virus - I had been having little stabbing pains in my chest.

“But I went to my GP and they said I had a problem with my heart - and sent me straight to the Northern General Hospital.”

Doctors at the cardiothoracic centre carried out a series of tests, and diagnosed David with heart failure.

“The two valves at the top of my heart aren’t working,” David said.

His heart, which has an erratic rhythm, cannot pump blood properly around his body. The specialists said David had a genetic heart defect - and could have died at any moment.

His wife Valerie, 54, said: “It was a complete bombshell. David is never ill. He has only been to the doctor three times in 15 years.

“Our world has been completely turned upside down. He could have died at any time.”

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Share this and save a life - The heartfelt plea for organ donations - Australia

Daily Telegraph | Briana Domjen

Photo: William Chapman at Clovelly Beach. Picture: Anthony Reginato Source: The Sunday Telegraph

WILLIAM Chapman is just a shadow of himself

The 20-year-old has already lost 21 kilos and desperately needs a double lung and heart transplant in the next few months to survive.

His case has touched so many that some Australian identities, including John Eales, Sally Fitzgibbons, Nathan Hindmarsh, Liz Ellis, Ada Nicodemou and Kirk Pengilly, have joined him in a YouTube plea for more people to become organ donors.

Born with a congenital heart condition, Mr Chapman had a regular childhood until it all unravelled at age 16 when he began feeling short of breath and was diagnosed with severe pulmonary hypertension.

Read more - VIDEO
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Facial Transplant and Donor Designation

Living Legacy Foundation | Libbydwolfe

Dear Joe:
Thanks for the great question. This remarkable surgery would not have been possible but for the generosity of organ donors and their families. Not only has this ground breaking surgery dramatically changed the life of the grateful recipient but it creates new awareness of the impact of organ, eye and tissue donation. Read more of Libby' response

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Friday, June 29, 2012

The Nataline Sarkisyan Legacy Cup: A Soccer Tournament for Homenetmen!


Photo: Medal recipients at the Nalaline Sarkisyan Legacy Cup

It is official! A new Homenetmen annual sports tournament is born! And it could not have materialized to a more welcoming chapter! Being the second largest local Homenetmen chapter, the thirty three year old San Fernando Valley Massis Chapter had been heading the call for competitiveness and the prospect of having its own sports tournament to join the lineup of existing tournaments such as the Glendale Ararat HABC games, the Fresno Sassoun games and the Orange County Sartarabad games.

Prepositioned by the Nataline Sarkisyan foundation, the Nataline Sarkisyan Legacy Cup soccer tournament started taking shape almost three years ago, at the heels of a successful first attempt at a soccer tournament by Massis chapter a year prior. In its inaugural year, the rainy weather that kept away other participating chapters did not dampen the spirit of the organizing committees, and the tournament morphed into a festival like event, with music, food booths, fathers playing against their sons, and even alumni players delving into spirited matches. To the delight of the young soccer players, the Nataline Legacy pink soccer ball made its debut and became the symbol of the tournament!

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Rafu Shinpo
Twins Anabel Stenzel and Isabel Stenzel Byrnes will discuss their lives and their documentary

Photo: Anabel Stenzel, left, and Isabel Stenzel Byrnes celebrate their transplanted lungs and honor their donors with activities such as playing bagpipes, competing in swimming races or simply blowing a few soap bubbles. (Photos courtesy Anabel Stenzel)

Isabel Stenzel Byrnes struggled with the conversation on the phone on Tuesday night, doing her best to hear over the drone of her bagpipe group as they prepared for a rehearsal.

“We’re going to be in a Fourth of July parade,” she shouted while speaking with the Rafu. “I’m not sure if you can hear me, but we’re really excited.”

Stenzel Byrnes and her twin sister, Anabel Stenzel, are perpetually grateful to fill their lungs with air and let it out, to make music on the pipes, compete in swimming races or simply to blow a few soap bubbles. They feel fortunate because their lungs were donated.

The sisters, whose mother is Japanese, will be on hand to answer questions after a screening of their documentary “The Power of Two,” which chronicles their lives and how they struggled to overcome cystic fibrosis.

This special public program will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, in the Tateuchi Democracy Forum of the Japanese American National Museum, located at 369 E. First St. in Little Tokyo. The film will be presented with Japanese subtitles.

“We hope the message of this film, and of what we’re working for, is to cherish health,” Anabel Stenzel told the Rafu Wednesday. “It’s not just those involved with organ donation and transplants, but it’s the power of a community that helps people overcome all kinds of challenges.”

Read more - see you there
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Kidney recipient fine a year after transplant

Your Houston News

Nick Carter was diagnosed with a kidney disorder in 2005. His conditioned degraded to “ renal failure” in 2007. He was getting by on 3 percent kidney function in mid-2011.

God knows what would have happened to Nick Carter if Dawn King of Houston had not offered to donate a kidney. Dawn, a longtime friend, bowled in a league at Houston's Del Mar Lanes with Nick, Nick’s wife, Sharon, and her own husband, Bob.

As The Advocate reported in a June 1, 2011, report headlined “Carters, Kings in a league of their own,” Nick would undergo kidney transplant surgery June 21, 2011, at Methodist Hospital in Houston.

A year later, Carter is fine.

“The only thing I can tell you is I had heard before the surgery that the day after the surgery I would feel better,” Carter said during a visit with The Advocate in Cleveland. “I couldn’t imagine what anybody meant by that because obviously you’re post-surgery. How can you feel better?

“I think what they really meant is with such a slow deterioration, renal failure, you had no idea how sick you were. And so, in comparison, I feel absolutely wonderful. My energy level is back. I feel like I’m 20 years younger.”

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A look at organ transplants in Texas, 1988-2011

The Dallas Daily News | Tristin Hallman

Tomorrow’s newspaper will feature an update about Lenora Steadman, who became the first person in the world to receive a simultaneous heart-kidney-pancreas transplant 20 years ago in Dallas.

Since Steadman’s procedure, only eight other such operations have been performed in the U.S. But all organ transplants continue to increase in the U.S. and in Texas.

Click here or on the picture below to see a visualization of the organ transplant increase since 1998 in Texas. The data is from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.

And look for the story about Steadman in Saturday’s edition of The Dallas Morning News.

Story source
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Kidneys Donations Vary by Community Living donor kidney transplantations less common in African Americans

Daily Rx | Travins Hill

The United States has a long history of racial inequality, unfortunately. While progress towards equality has undoubtedly been made, some racial gaps still exist, particularly when it comes to health care.

Knowing where inequalities exist can help us fix them.

African Americans awaiting a new kidney are less likely to get one, compared to non-African Americans.

In fact, there is a racial gap at every transplant center that performs living donor kidney transplantation in the United States.

In a recent study, Erin C. Hall, MD, MPH, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and fellow researchers looked at racial differences in living donor kidney transplantation at transplant centers throughout the country.

On average, African Americans get a new kidney from a living donor less often than their non-African American counterparts. Dr. Hall and colleagues wanted to better understand the role that transplant centers play in this racial gap.

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Come, walk with us - Toronto

Toronto Star

We are a group of young volunteers based out of GTA, and have formed a non-profit organization AMAR KARMA ORGAN DONATION SOCIETY which is designated to create awareness about organ donation by involving communities in various languages. Amar stands for -Eternal, Karma stands for- Actions.

- Toronto has lowest rate of organ donors in Ontario
- Every 3 days one person dies waiting for organ transplant in Ontario.
- 1500 people are waiting today to receive a call from life, an organ match!

We MUST stand up for those who have been waiting for years and take their message around to communities; therefore we have organized a SAVE AND SHARE walk

ü To create awareness about organ and tissue donation
ü To spread the message of those who wait every day!
ü A walk for another chance of life!

This is an excellent karma to not only help those in needs, but also engage our youth in promoting this ‘Art of sharing’ by volunteering in our campaigns.

July 21, 3pm-6pm
From Exhibition place to Harbour Front

Please wear Green colour shirts signifying life. Or you can get green shirts for a small cost at the event location.

We seek help from the members of the community for refreshments at the walk along with sponsorships for the print materials to raise awareness.

For more information: call 416-444-4803

Story source
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Kidney dialysis patient chose to die rather then receive more treatment

STV TV Scotland

A woman who endured two decades of kidney dialysis has died after stopping the treatment which could have kept her alive for another 10 years.

Sandra Dewar, 36, died from renal failure last Friday after making the decision to end all medical treatment.

The care worker from Perth kept the decision secret from her friends and family for days so they could not try to change her mind.

Sandra, who spent much of the last year in hospital, was warned by doctors there was little chance that she would get home after turning dialysis off.

Sandra, who in 2008 received a kidney transplant which her body rejected, passed away at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.

Paying tribute to his sister, her younger brother William said Sandra was a great daughter, sister and aunt who loved fashion, make up, and going out dancing with friends.

The 31-year-old said parents Jeanette and James, stepfather Freddie and sister Jeanette, 35, were still trying to come to terms with their loss.

He said: "She could have lived up to another 10 years on the dialysis but we would have suffered a great deal. Obviously we were very upset when we found out as we didn't want to lose her but we all respected her decision and knew we would not be able to change her mind. It helps to know she is now at peace and there will be no more needles or operations. She battled bravely, for a long time and will never be forgotten."

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Improvement in Heart Function in Organ Donor Animal Model Using CytoSorb(R) Highlighted at the Western Thoracic Surgical Association Meeting

Market Wire

MONMOUTH JUNCTION, NJ, Jun 29, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- CytoSorbents Corporation CTSO +8.47% , a critical care-focused company using blood purification to modulate the immune system, reduce severe inflammation, and prevent or treat organ failure caused by life-threatening illnesses, announced promising large animal data from a research collaboration with Dr. David Rabkin, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. In a presentation today entitled "Effect of Cytokine Hemoadsorption on Brain Death Induced Ventricular Dysfunction in a Porcine Model" at the Annual Meeting of the Western Thoracic Surgical Association in Hawaii, Dr. Rabkin will present animal data supporting the potential future use of CytoSorb(R) blood purification to protect the viability of organs donated by patients whose organs still function, but who have been declared officially dead from irreversible brain injury.

Dr. Rabkin commented, "While the vast majority of organ transplants rely on cadaveric donors, it's long been appreciated that brain death creates an environment hostile to organ function. This effect is particularly pronounced in the heart where estimates suggest that about 20% of potential organ donors are excluded from cardiac donation due to the effects of brain death on cardiac function. One of the components of the body's reaction to brain death is a surge in inflammatory cytokines which have been shown in other contexts to importantly depress heart function. Using the CytoSorb(R) hemoadsorption technology in a porcine model we demonstrated that cytokine filtration significantly improves heart function after brain death compared to brain dead animals that did not undergo cytokine filtration. This may have important implications for expanding the cardiac donor pool and reducing the increasing disparity between the supply and demand of hearts for transplantation and warrants further study."

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Local Teen's Death Brings Life To Neighbor


A local high schooler's sad and untimely death after a battle with a rare disease has brought together two unlikely strangers, now bonded through the gift of life.

Midlothian High School student Tyler Davidson passed away in February after a brief battle with a rare form of epilepsy which left the vibrant, soccer-playing teen in a coma.

"They pretty much said he had some brain apathy and he was not going to make it," Ken Davidson, Tyler's father, told 8News reporter Nate Eaton.

On February 26, a day after Davidson passed, Alroy Henderson got a life-changing call: He was getting one of Tyler's kidneys.

"It was a lot to process to know that this 15 year old had died probably two hours before I got the call," said Henderson, who had been waiting for three years for a perfect match. Tyler's was perfect.

"Normally it takes 2-3 days for the kidney to respond but by 5:30, Tyler's kidney had responded and was functioning," said Carol Henderson, Alroy's wife.

Read more - Video
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Pune lags behind in giving the gift of life

Daily News and Analysis | Alifya Khan
Even as nearly 300 patients in Pune are on the waiting list for kidneys, the low rate of cadaver donations in the city poses a grim picture for renal patients in need of transplants.

This year, only one cadaver donation has taken place in the city which took place at Command Hospital in March. With an average of less than eight cadaver transplants per year (if figures of previous years is considered), chances of finding a kidney donated by the family of a brain-dead patient are dismal.

The low rate of cadaver donations leave renal patients with no choice, but look elsewhere for donors.

According to transplant coordinators, if a kidney patient is unable to find a donor within his/her family, they have to wait for several years to find a cadaver kidney, and this wait might prove to be fatal in some cases.

Transplant social workers in city hospitals claim that the city lags in cadaver donations due to lack of awareness about organ donation and government inaction to motivate human organ donation.

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Methodist sees dwindling transplant organs

Memphis Biz Journal | Cole Epley

James Eason (center), director of Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute, performs transplant surgery.

Federal regulations aimed to establish parity among Tennessee organ procurement organizations and organ transplant centers have sparked contentious debate within the Memphis medical community — and have pitted two seemingly disparate, yet mutually reliant, organizations at opposite ends of the dispute.

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Black Market for Body Parts Spreads Among the Poor in Europe

New York Times | Dan Bilefsky

BELGRADE, Serbia — Pavle Mircov and his partner, Daniella, nervously scan their e-mail in-box every 15 minutes, desperate for economic salvation: a buyer willing to pay nearly $40,000 for one of their kidneys.

The couple, the parents of two teenagers, put their organs up for sale on a local online classified site six months ago after Mr. Mircov, 50, lost his job at a meat factory here. He has not been able to find any work, he said, so he has grown desperate. When his father recently died, Mr. Mircov could not afford a tombstone. The telephone service has been cut off. One meal a day of bread and salami is the family’s only extravagance.

“When you need to put food on the table, selling a kidney doesn’t seem like much of a sacrifice,” Mr. Mircov said.

Facing grinding poverty, some Europeans are seeking to sell their kidneys, lungs, bone marrow or corneas, experts say. This phenomenon is relatively new in Serbia, a nation that has been battered by war and is grappling with the financial crisis that has swept the Continent. The spread of illegal organ sales into Europe, where they are gaining momentum, has been abetted by the Internet, a global shortage of organs for transplants and, in some cases, unscrupulous traffickers ready to exploit the economic misery.

In Spain, Italy, Greece and Russia, advertisements by people peddling organs — as well as hair, sperm and breast milk — have turned up on the Internet, with asking prices for lungs as high as $250,000. In late May, the Israeli police detained 10 members of an international crime ring suspected of organ trafficking in Europe, European Union law enforcement officials said. The officials said the suspects had targeted impoverished people in Moldova, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Testing Endurance and Speed For Donation Awareness

Gift of Life Donor Program | Patrice

Gift of Life is thankful for the supportive members of the community who join in the mission of promoting organ donor awareness. It is because of the dedication of our volunteers and community partners that we have been able to educate more people about donation and help save lives every day. Today we have a special guest post by Bill Gibbons, who was the first full-time, in-house preservation technician. Bill is now the President and Founder of GOALS Adventure Racing Association. His organization recently raised money for Gift of Life Donor Program, to help make donation education possible for our community.

The GOALS Adventure Racing Association is a 501c3, non-profit organization. We teach the technical aspects of endurance and adventure racing. We also perform environmental projects, in coordination with local and national parks. Our members include racers and non-racers. Our volunteers are really the strength of our organization.

Adventure racing is small team, multi-sport, endurance competitions. Teams of 2-3 people trail run, mountain bike, and canoe while using map and compass over a course that is, in this case, 100 miles long. There are shorter, and much longer courses and sometimes challenges, like rappelling, are included. No two adventure races are exactly alike. The courses are kept a secret until the beginning of the race. With so many factors that can change during a long race, it becomes a test of human spirit. Teams must stay together and perform all of the tasks as a team.

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Number of Organ Donations Rise in Korea

Arirang News

A report from Korea's health ministry showed a nearly 40 percent increase of organ donors from brain dead patients in 2011 compared to a year earlier.
This recent kidney transplant recipient who'd been on a waiting list for five years is one of the fortunate few who has benefited from the rise in generosity.
[Interview : Kidney Transplant Patient] "It's difficult to express in words the gratitude I feel for this transplant. Before receiving the transplant, I experienced a lot of difficult circumstances but now I'm deeply moved."
Organ donations have increased significantly in recent years, with a record number of 368 donors just last year and 268 in 2010.
Political support for organ donations has also grown with new incentives for hospitals and more convenient steps for families of organ donors.
Unfortunately even with the promising rise, the number of organdonations in Korea still falls short of other developed countries.
As of now, around 3-thousand to 4-thousand patients are declared brain dead every year, but only 10 percent of them end up choosing to be a donor.
In countries like the U.S. and Spain, that rate jumps up to nearly 25-percent and 35-percent respectively.
[Interview : Ha Jong-wonm, Professor of Surgery
Seoul Natl. University Hospital] " If you die, that's the end. Whether the body rots away or is cremated, no matter what happens, the corpse will be lost. But a single organ can extend someone's life by years or decades and that's something people need to think about."
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2012 National Donor Designation Report Card Released

Donate Life America

Number of Registered Organ, Eye and Tissue Donors Continues to Rise

RICHMOND, June 28 – Donate Life America unveiled its fifth annual National Donor Designation Report Card during the organization’s twentieth anniversary annual meeting in Chicago, IL. The document reports 101.4 million people had enrolled in state donor registries by the end of 2011. The public can add to that number and help save the lives of the more than 114,000 men, women and children awaiting organ transplants by designating a donation decision at

Nationwide, 42.7 percent of individuals age 18 and older have registered to be organ, eye and tissue donors. Alaska and Montana top the list with 79 percent each, followed by Washington with 75 percent and Oregon with 73 percent.

The document also reports that of all recovered donors in the United Sates in 2011, 36.2 percent of organ, 44.7 percent of eye and 41.8 percent of tissue, were in their state donor registry at the time of death. These numbers have continued to rise since Donate Life America began collecting this data in 2007.

With thousands still awaiting lifesaving or healing transplants the need for donor designations remains a priority. To address the continued shortage, Donate Life America has undertaken a bold campaign to register an additional 20 million donors by the conclusion of 2012.

“With nearly 7,000 people dying each year due to a lack of available organs for transplant, the need is great,” said David Fleming, president and CEO of Donate Life America. “We hope this campaign will energize the public to do what is necessary to save the lives of thousands – register as donors today.”

View full report card
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Erik Compton, a 2-time heart transplant recipient, plays on with the gift of life

Washington Times | Rich Campbell

Erik Compton can’t shake this darn cough. Three weeks have passed, and he’s still hacking. Standing on the seventh tee of Congressional Country Club’s Blue Course during Monday’s Pro-Am at the AT&T National, you could hear the stuff in Compton’s lungs gurgle. Later, on the 13th green, he needed to rest. He crossed his legs and sat down in the first cut while others in his group putted out.

This has been the 32-year-old Compton’s reality since he was a boy. The battle royale inside him is constant: medicine versus immune system versus heart. And yet, here he is, a two-time heart transplant recipient playing his first season on the PGA Tour.

“It’s unbelievable that he made it to the tour,” said Charlie DeLucca, Compton’s longtime mentor and coach. “It’s more unbelievable that he’s alive.”

“It’s pretty gutsy,” added Kyle Stanley, one of Compton’s friends on the PGA Tour. “Golf is hard for most of us with one heart, and he’s on his third and doing great. It’s a remarkable story, very cool.”

Compton acknowledges how extraordinary it is, a perspective formed from countless trips to the doctor and a daily routine that includes taking almost three dozen pills that, among other things, try to prevent his immune system from attacking his foreign heart.

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Gift of comfort – and organs - Malaysia

The Malaysian Star | Lim Wey Wen

Happy family: Jodi smiling for the camera as Cheah and Ngun look on after the cheque presentation ceremony by Maybank Foundation to the Selayang Hospital’s Liver Transplant Trust Fund.

KUALA LUMPUR: Jessie Cheah and Karl Ngun may not have the millions to give away to children who need liver transplants but they try to help in whatever way they can.

The couple, whose seven-year-old daughter Jodi went through a similar transplant procedure at the Selayang Hospital, said they helped families whose children were in the same predicament by sharing their experiences.

“When Jodi was admitted into hospital, her doctor asked us if we were willing to share what we went through with other families to help them understand their situation,” said Cheah.

The 42-year-old was telling her story after a cheque presentation ceremony by Maybank Foundation to the Selayang Hospital's Liver Transplant Trust Fund.

Jodi was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a blockage of the duct that carries bile from the liver to the gall-bladder or small intestines, when she was three months old.

Although she had a procedure done to drain the bile from her liver, doctors said Jodi still needed a transplant.

Read more
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Alex O'Loughlin fans for Donate Life - The Power of Hope

Alex O'Loughlin Fans for Donate Life

Donate Life America shares the hope of real life families around the US

Jessica  Melore was given a chance to celebrate her  30th birthday thanks to the generosity of a donor, who gave her a new heart. Watch Jessica's video here.

KFC call after Glastonbury musician Sam Boughen's fight for life-UK

Central Somerset Gazette
An iPhone app, a KFC and his love for his 19-month-old daughter helped bring a Glastonbury musician back from the edge of death.

Sam Boughen, 26, went through two liver transplants in three months after being diagnosed with liver disease as the result of a genetic disorder.

His father, Martin Boughen, 53, donated 60 per cent of his liver in January to save his son's life but two days after he was discharged from hospital, Sam began to feel unwell.

He was taken to Yeovil Hospital and then transferred to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, where much of his post-surgery care had been carried out.

When his symptoms worsened, he was rushed back to Kings College Hospital in London.

"We were told they thought there had been a clot," said Martin.

"It turned out that an artery had been blocked and at that point we knew it was serious."

The blocked artery meant that Sam's new liver was not getting enough blood.

Shortly afterwards, the family's worse fears were confirmed – Sam's new liver had failed.

"Within hours, I was classed as critically ill," said Sam. "Twenty-four hours after that, I was on life support."

Sam went back onto the transplant list, and his family were told to prepare themselves for the worst.

In the early hours of April 15, a new liver was found from a donor. His exhausted body endured a nine-hour operation.

Shortly afterwards, doctors discovered Sam had an e. coli infection, as well as a life-threatening lung infection.

Doctors were forced to play a balancing game with his medication as the drugs that could treat the lung infection put his new liver at risk.

Read more:

Wisconsin Governor Walker's Weekly Radio Address

Muskego Now

Hi I’m Scott Walker.

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting a young man named Blake Parker. Blake is only 12 years old, but he’s fought more battles than most people do in a lifetime.

Blake was born with a congenital heart disease (called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome), and he needs a new heart. He’s been on the transplant list for almost a year and a half.

I met with Blake because a friend of his family contacted my office. You see, Blake has a wish list, and one of the items on it, was a chance to meet the Governor. We played guitar together and sang. For a little guy with a failing heart, he sure does have a soul full of spirit.

Blake is one of 1800 people in Wisconsin waiting for an organ transplant. Across the country, every day, time runs out for 19 people on the waiting list.

It’s easy to become an organ donor. You can sign up when you renew your driver’s license and get the “donor dot” like I did, but you don’t have to wait. You can get on the registry right now by going to It could be a life-saving decision for kids like Blake, who, by the way, has a ways to go to complete his wish list. He also wants to meet Lady Gaga and Carrie Underwood. I would love to see that happen.

That’s one of the things on my wish list.

The state has partnered with the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association to produce and distribute brief radio address once a week. Audio files and a written transcript of this radio address can be accessed on and

Folsom teen team takes 5th in cycling race across U.S.

Modesto Bee |
With their parents serving as the sleep-deprived support crew, eight Folsom teenagers finished fifth out of 18 teams in the grueling 3,000 mile Race Across America.

The team, Believe and Achieve, raced in relay fashion, finishing in 6 days, 6 hours and 31 minutes. All of the other teams in the race were composed of adults, including the Sacramento Police Department's eight-member team, which finished sixth.

The teenage team was the dream of Connor Ellison, a 14-year-old Folsom cyclist who has battled a rare and debilitating kidney disease. His sister, Savannah, 16, also rode on the team.

The other team members are Adam Sevy, 17; Troy Knox, 16; Colin Cook, 16; twins Scot and Alex Benton, both 17; and Jasper Hodgson, 14. Michael Hahn, 13, broke his arm on a training ride and was unable to compete.

"The team did awesome," said Jared Ellison, Connor and Savannah's father, who served as coach. "Everything was just smooth. I'm thrilled the juniors were so prepared in all the ways I had hoped."

Read more here:

Read more here:

A tough act to beat - Australia

The Daily Telegraph | Janet Fife-Yeomans
Double lung transplant recipient Ayla Sutherland, 15, with her brother
 Damon, 7 and dog Bunny. Picture: Kristi Miller  
Source: The Daily Telegraph

WITH the biggest heart and a new set of lungs, Ayla Sutherland can finally dream about a future that never seemed possible.

For the first time in her life, the 15-year-old can sing at the top of her voice and run after her border collie Bunny.

Kept alive by machine at St Vincent's Hospital for an unprecedented 57 days after her lungs failed due to cystic fibrosis, Ayla's saviour was someone she never knew -- a teenage girl whose family agreed to donate her organs.

Although she will never know their name, she has written several letters to the girl's family.

"I said that no words can describe how happy I am and how grateful my family and I are," Ayla said yesterday.

Ayla is back in her Elderslie High School classroom in Sydney's southwest following a double-lung transplant last year and teacher Maureen Moore has nominated her for a Pride of Australia Child of Courage medal.

Ms Moore said that while Ayla only wanted to be treated like any other teenager, she was wise beyond her years.

Read more: 

How Scientists Built a Liver from Scratch

Wall Street Daily

We’ve already discussed how Organovo (OTCQB: ONVO) has managed to build blood vessels and tissue using 3-D bioprinting technology.

The technology is no doubt revolutionary, as the tissue can be used to test new pharmaceutical drugs more effectively. The tissue reacts to drugs just like it would in a real person. Meaning that pharmaceutical companies can see how the drug would interact with our bodies, giving a more accurate idea of side effects than animal testing would alone.

The next step for Organovo is to build fully useable organs from scratch, as well. That is, unless these researchers in Japan get there first.

The “Liver Bud”

These researchers at Yokohama City University were able to build a liver, out of non-liver cells.

It’s made possible by combining donor skin cells with induced pluripotent stem cells (or iPS cells). Essentially, iPS cells are just normal cells that have been given a new “mission.” That is, they can grow into any type of cell – like skin, lung, muscle, bone and, yes, liver.

What’s interesting is that the discovery happened by chance…

As Takanori Takebe, one of the researchers at the University, says, “We mixed and graded the cells onto the culture dish and they moved to form a cluster. It was a surprising outcome from what was, to be honest, an accident.”

Later analysis shows that these cells – which weren’t liver cells to begin with – now carry a special biochemical marker that only comes from maturing liver cells. In other words, the cells were successfully “reprogrammed.”

It’s at this crucial point that the scientists introduced two other types of cells to help the liver perform its task as an organ.

And two days later… they had a working liver. Well, to be fair, it’s not a fully functional organ.

“It’s not yet a perfect liver,” Takebe says. “Improvements need to be made, such as the reconstruction of a bile duct.”

Co-worker comes to rescue

Muskogee Phoenix | KaeAnn Russell
Dana Pack, in bed, talks with John Brinlee after her liver transplant surgery on May 15. Brinlee,
who works with Pack at Graham Packaging in Muskogee, gave Pack 60 percent of his liver.

Faced with dwindling options, Pack receives liver transplant from Brinlee

Dana Pack spent 12 years waiting on the organ donor list for a liver while tumors in her liver began to overlap.

Pack said she knew she couldn’t wait any longer after her health began to fail in April. The tumors in her liver had begun to bleed.

She knew it was not likely that she would get a liver from the donor list because the people at the top of the list are about to die.

“It became real that I was never going to get a liver on the donor list,” Pack said. “The sickest people are the first to get the organs because they are waiting on death’s doorstep.”

It was only then that Pack considered the continual offers from her co-worker at Graham Packaging, John Brinlee.

“John and I used to always joke about how he was on deck,” Pack said. “I never took his offers seriously.”

Brinlee, who also pastors Calvary Pentecostal Church of God in McAlester, said he always knew he was the one.

“It wasn’t an easy road to walk, but I knew that the Lord was in me and would help me and Dana through this,” Brinlee said.

Weston teen Will Corcoran needs a liver transplant

Weston Forum | Patricia Gay
With the end of the school year now here, many Weston children are looking forward to spending their summer vacations on the beach or perhaps at a sleepaway camp.

But not Will Corcoran.

The 15-year-old Weston teen is at home fighting for his life while waiting for a liver transplant.

Will was born with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that causes the body to produce abnormally thick, sticky mucus, which clogs the airways and leads to life-threatening lung infections. The mucus can also affect the pancreas and liver.

Because of cystic fibrosis and an onset of cystic fibrosis-related diabetes, Will's liver is approximately 10 pounds larger than normal and is not properly cleaning his blood.

According to his mother, Bean Corcoran, the ammonia level in Will's blood is exceedingly high and as a result, he is experiencing memory loss and extreme exhaustion, which caused him to miss much of school this year.

Bike riders race to keep friend's memory alive

Portland Tribune | Cliff Newell
Series of memorial bicycle races helps Oliphant family heal

It was easy to come up with the idea to have a memorial bike series for David Oliphant.

The result was the David Oliphant June Series, which took place each Tuesday in June at Portland International Raceway, culminating June 26.

The event captured much local interest in Beaverton, where he lived at the time of his death, and Lake Oswego, where Oliphant grew up in Lake Oswego and attended Southlake Foursquare Church in West Linn.

Oliphant 's death on June 8, 2010, could not have been more shocking, sudden or sad. Oliphant was riding with his brother Duncan after a race at PIR when he was stricken with a heart attack.

It was stunning that an incredibly fit 47-year-old man who had raced his bicycle 200,000 miles during the previous 10 years could die so suddenly.

It was also unbearably sad because he was so beloved; by his family — dad Doug, mother Barbara, sister Beth Hoover, all of Lake Oswego, and Duncan — and also his bike racing buddies.

But David Oliphant also had great impact on the lives of many people he did not know, because he was an organ donor. Fifty of Oliphant 's organs were used to help 25 people.

Devon man gets kidney offer on Facebook - UK

BBC News | Sophie Pierce
John Williamson, left, said he had no hesitation in
helping Andy Williamson
For the last year Andy Williamson, who has polycystic kidney disease, has been living a compromised life.

In 2011, his donated kidney failed so he now has to have dialysis every day while he waits for a new organ.

Now, thanks to a social networking site, his American cousin John Williamson has come forward and offered him one of his kidneys.

Musician Andy Williamson, 44, who lives in Ashburton, Devon, said it was an amazing gift.

"We don't actually know each other that well, having grown up on different sides of the Atlantic, but we are friends on Facebook," he said.

"John saw that I was in need of a new kidney, and offered to be a living donor."

Advertising account manager John Williamson, 41, said that once he realised his cousin's plight, he had no hesitation in coming forward.

Kidney Recipient Meets Match, Urges Others to Donate

Rochester Home Page | Caroline Tucker
The identities of organ donors are typically kept confidential but one Lima man wanted to meet the woman who helped save his life.

Jim Hayton and Donna Germano had no connection until December 2011.

A kidney transplant between strangers.

"I knew I wanted to donate, I knew what I did, but I didn't know the extent of what it meant it was going to mean to him to actually receive a kidney and have a change of life," said Donna Germano, organ donor.

Donna Germano works in a dialysis office in a Syracuse suburb and wanted to help a patient.

She wasn't a match for that person, but was a perfect match for jim.

The 55-year old was diagnosed with kidney disease in 1999.

Jim went through years of dialysis and was on a long donor wait list.
Read more - VIDEO:

Editorial: Donating now, or later, can be lifesaver

Daily Herald

Chris Doing of Carpentersville and Kalin Koychev of Wheeling are two very special men. Both stepped forward to help a young boy they’d never met have a better life. Both allowed a surgeon to remove from them a perfectly good kidney to be transplanted into little Nathan Saavedra.

Providing money for a cause is one thing; providing your time is another. But these two men gave of themselves in the most literal sense.

Doing’s kidney lasted only five months in the Carpentersville boy before it folded on itself in March 2011, lost blood supply and had to be removed. But he said he didn’t regret having gone through it.

Time will tell whether Koychev’s kidney, transplanted a week ago into Nathan, who suffers from a birth defect that causes blockages in his urinary tract that lead to kidney damage, will do the trick.

Live organ donors indeed are a special breed. They can donate a kidney, a partial liver, lobes of a lung, a pancreas, a section of intestine. Livers regenerate; the remaining kidney grows to take on the duty of two. And donor organizations are quick to point out that donating an organ doesn’t mean one’s life will be any shorter or less fulfilling.

Jeremy Bell, Florida Man, Loses 100 Pounds To Donate Kidney To Sister

The Huffington Post
Tired of watching a dialysis machine keep his sister alive, Jeremy Bell decided to lose 100 pounds so he could save her.

Crystal Bell’s kidneys were destroyed by a congenital condition and her body rejected a kidney donated by her cousin 10 years ago, Bay News 9 reports. The Georgia woman badly needs a transplant, so her brother decided to get himself into tip-top shape and donate his own kidney.

"Would you push them out of the way if a car was coming?" Jeremy Bell asked Bay News 9, referring to saving a family member. "Would you protect them if someone was breaking into your house? I have a spare kidney. How could I not give it to her?"

As a general parameter, kidney donors should be in good health. Donors who are overweight or obese are more likely to experience long-term kidney damage themselves after the operation, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

Blood relatives typically make the best donor candidates, something Elissa Stein kept in the back of her mind as her own brother's condition took a turn for the worse. Stein’s brother had struggled with a host of debilitating medical conditions throughout his life, and when his kidneys gave out, she decided to step in.

Missouri Nurse Gives Kidney to Co-worker

US Nursing Jobs

Any illness can be harrowing, but those requiring transplants can be particularly devastating. There are literally thousands of people waiting for transplants at this moment, and many will die before the organs they need become available.

For Liz Anderson, of Kansas City, Missouri, finding a suitable donor was an ordeal. Since January of 2011, Ms. Anderson has a condition that caused her to need dialysis. Though immediate family members are often close enough matches to be able to provide kidneys, testing revealed that all of the relatives that tested to donate to her were excluded. But her prayers were answered in the form of her friend and co-worker, Toni Lamb.

The two women have worked together at Saint Joseph Medical Center for years – Anderson as a neo-natal nurse, and Lamb in labor and delivery. Lamb, whose father was on dialysis for several years, knew exactly what Anderson was facing and didn’t want her to have to go through it if she could help. She stated that she felt a “nudge” and was tested.

On Your Side: The Gift of Life

My Fox 8, Greensboro | Charlie Glancy

Almost one month ago, FOX8 told you a story about the daughter of a Winston-Salem Police Sgt. Mickey Hutchens, who donated a kidney to a boy she hardly knew.

Since then, a lot has changed in the live of both Leah Hutchens Mitchell and the boy who calls her an angel.

For more information on how you can become a organ donor visit

Wolf and Quiet Giant Award Recipients Announced

Donate Life America

Donate Life America Bestows Prestigious National Awards

RICHMOND, June 26 — Donate Life America (DLA) recognized Steve Ferkau and George Bergstrom for their unselfish actions and broad-based efforts to increase organ donation and transplantation during the organization’s 2012 Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL.

The James S. Wolf, MD Courage Award is presented annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution towards increasing organ, eye and tissue donation on a regional or national level. The recipient must exhibit a personal commitment and enthusiasm for educating the public about the need for increased donation and an attitude of “service above self” in their mission.

The 2012 Wolf award was presented to Steve Ferkau, a double-lung and kidney recipient, who tirelessly spreads the word about the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation. In addition to daily discussions about donation with people on the elevator, in corner cafes or with co-workers and friends, Mr. Ferkau shares his powerful story regularly. He has spoken on the national stage at transplant meetings, at community and hospital education awareness and fundraising events in a number of states, and to hospital and organ recovery professionals. His desire and willingness to encourage people to register as donors is remarkable, and his energy is infectious. Mr. Ferkau’s tirelcommitment includes his annual climb of the Hancock Center with his team, named “Kari’s Climbers” in honor of his lung donor.

Also awarded was the “Quiet Giant” award, which the DLA Board presents to an individual who works, often behind-the-scenes and without public recognition, to help increase donation and transplantation. The “Quiet Giant” award reads, “Looking for opportunities to serve, not for praise.”

This year, the “Quiet Giant” award was presented to George Bergstrom, Vice President of Member Relations for the American Hospital Association (AHA). In the past year, Mr. Bergstrom has humbly secured involvement from hospital partners across the country and ensured that the need for registered donors remained top of mind within the hospital community. Mr. Bergstrom also assisted in supporting Workplace Partnership for Life programs, a national initiative that unites U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with the donation and transplant community and businesses, associations and organizations to spread the word about the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation. He also secured participation in Donate Life America’s Flag Across America initiative, which involves a vivid and unified national message by the simple raising of a Donate Life flag in honor of patients waiting, organ, eye and tissue donors and their families.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Surgeons Seek Repeal of Transplant Ban Between HIV-Positive People

News Day | Randy Dotinga
As many as 1,000 lives might be saved each year in U.S., experts say

WEDNESDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Transplant surgeons plan to meet with U.S. Congressional staff members Wednesday to push for the repeal of a law that forbids HIV-positive patients from getting organ transplants from other HIV-positive people.

If the law is changed, patients infected with the AIDS-causing virus will have more organs available to them for transplantation, advocates say.

"We want to save lives of people with HIV who may otherwise die on the waiting list for organs," said Kimberly Crump, policy officer of the HIV Medical Association, a group of AIDS doctors and researchers.

Crump said the advocates hope to encourage lawmakers to sponsor a bill calling for the law's repeal.

However, hurdles exist. For instance, questions remain about the health risks of transplanting organs between HIV-positive patients, and research is needed to make sure such transplants are safe, experts say. And some transplant surgeons refuse to perform transplants on HIV-positive patients.

Specialists, including Dr. Dorry Segev, director of clinical transplant research at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, will discuss the special transplant needs of HIV-positive patients at the lunchtime meeting.

HIV-positive patients are vulnerable to a variety of diseases that can threaten their organs if their immune systems weaken. For example, they're susceptible to hepatitis B, which worsens faster in HIV-infected people than others and can lead to liver disease and the need for a liver transplant, explained Dr. Margaret Ragni, a professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Read more

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Toddler recovering after receiving skin transplant from cloned mouse cells

My Fox DC
A South African toddler is recovering after receiving a transplant of cloned skin to treat severe burns.

Three-year-old Isabella Kruger suffered burns to over eighty percent of her body when a bottle of fire-lighting gel exploded at a family barbecue.

Burn victims rarely survive such severe burns.

In the months that followed the accident, Isabella survived multiple cardiac arrests and organ failure before undergoing the skin transplant.

She is now fully awake and no longer relying on feeding tubes.

Isabella received thirty to forty grafts of skin -- which had been cloned in a Boston laboratory using mouse cells as a scaffold.

Her mother is aware that recovery will take a long time but she is optimistic.

"She's doing really, really well and last night when we opened the bandages we saw, that it's, it (the cloned skin) took perfectly. She's moving so much more it's like she can feel she's better," her mother Anice Kruger said.

"We'd rehearsed, you know, the operation quite a few times in our minds and chatting about it and just getting the team together beforehand. So I think, we have shown that these 'ops' are complicated but they're not impossible," said plastic surgeon Ridwan Mia.

The three-year-old will have to undergo daily physiotherapy, and will also need speech therapy and psychological counseling.

Read more:

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Calls increase to lift age cap on organ recipients - Japan

Japan Times

Success story: Takahiro Oto, an associate professor at Okayama University, speaks with a woman in Okayama in April after she received a lung from a living donor in February. KYODO

OKAYAMA — Calls are growing to raise the upper age limit of recipients of organ transplants from brain-dead donors as elderly people make up a greater segment of society.

Since a landmark law was enacted in 1997 to facilitate organ transplants from brain-dead people, the opportunity for transplants has increased, improving the survival prospects of people facing the risk of organ failure due to intractable diseases.

However, elderly people have been denied this opportunity as there are age limits for who is allowed to join the transplant waiting list.

The caps are particularly strict for lung and heart transplants, while for other organs there are few age requirements. Patients hoping to receive a lung must be 59 or younger, while the age limit for people requiring two lungs is 54. The upper age limit for a heart transplant is also set at 59 years old.

Read more
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Queen's closer to starting more organ transplant operations

Hawaii News Now

Right now there are 400 people in Hawaii waiting for an organ transplant, but none of them are for a heart simply because there isn't approval yet.

"The organization that monitors and regulates transplants, UNOS, they have certain minimum number per year transplant requirement. It may be a challenge for the state to meet that minimum number," said Dr. Whitney Limm, Queen's Medical Center Vice President Clinical Integration and Director of the Kidney Transplant Center.

Dr. Limm says that minimum number is about 12 heart transplants a year. He says the most Hawaii has ever done in a year was five. Queen's Medical Center could be granted a waiver but it's no guarantee. Since it is a lengthy process it won't happen too quickly.

"That's probably going to be at least 12 months from now," said Dr. Limm.

When the Hawaii Medical Center closed late last year, the state's only transplant center did too. Queen's Medical Center stepped in to fill the void. Since March Queen's has already performed four successful liver transplants. The first kidney transplant could happen within a month. And approval to begin pancreas operations could come by the end of August.

"Heart transplant will be the last of the four major organs," said Dr. Limm.

It so happens transplant experts from 35 countries are in Honolulu this week for the International Kidney Conference at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Read more
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2,000 Transplants and Counting: UCLA's Heart Transplant Program Reaches Major Milestone

UCLA Health System

Photo: Bill Meadows underwent the 2,000th heart transplantation surgery at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

Newswise — The UCLA Heart Transplant Program performed its 2,000th heart transplant surgery earlier this month, becoming the first program in the western United States and only the second in the world to achieve this remarkable milestone.

Bill Meadows, 59, of Riverside, Calif., who suffered from advanced dilated cardiomyopathy with secondary pulmonary hypertension, received the donated organ on June 4 in a four-hour surgery at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center led by Dr. Reshma Biniwale, an assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery.

"It is extraordinary that 2,000 donor hearts have been transplanted at UCLA, giving new life and new hope to pediatric and adult patients ranging in age from two weeks to 77 years," said Dr. Abbas Ardehali, professor of cardiothoracic surgery and director of the heart and lung transplant program at UCLA. "Not only is this historic occasion a time for celebration, it is also an opportunity to thank those thousands of organ donors and their loved ones who gave the precious gift of life."

Founded in 1984, UCLA's heart transplant program has been a world leader in the field and was recognized in 2010 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources as the nation's best heart transplant program.

Today, the program prides itself on superior outcomes, low mortality on the wait-list, and the use of innovative and cutting-edge approaches in the fields of heart failure and transplantation. Patients come to UCLA for heart transplants from all parts of California and neighboring states, including Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and even Hawaii.

Read more
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Instead of patients receiving needed organs through transplants, could manufactured ones solve the organ shortage problem?

According to the United Network for Organ Donation, there are 92,679 people on the kidney transplant waiting list, but due to a limited organ donor supply, an estimated 4,500 people on the list will die this year waiting for a viable organ.

What if, instead of waiting for a kidney, doctors could print one on-demand for patients? It’s a possibility that Surgeon Anthony Atala is exploring:

Together with his team at Wake Forest’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Atala uses a CT scanner to create a 3D image of the organ that needs to be replaced. This computer model is then used as the basis for construction; using a small tissue sample from the patient to seed the printer, a new, working, and viable organ is built layer by layer. Right now, the printing process takes about 7 hours.

Read more
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Thousands of Minnesotans Waiting for Organ Transplants


There are 2,855 lives on the line in Minnesota today, with another 100,000 across the country.

That's enough people to fill both the Metrodome and Target Field combined.

Each are waiting for organ or tissue transplants. It's an issue near and dear to KSTP Meteorologist Ken Barlow's heart.

His brother died in a car accident in March 2010. He was only 42 and the father of two children.

Ken's brother was an organ donor and so far, his tissue and organs have helped to save the lives of 50 people and counting.

Wednesday, Governor Dayton honored the families of 120 donors, including Ken Barlow's. Each were given a Medal of Honor.

Read more - VIDEO
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Child-donor transplants still testing the water

The Japan Times

A start: Juntaro Ashikari of the Japan Organ Transplant Network faces reporters at the health ministry June 14 to explain the imminent organ transplants from a boy under age 6 who was declared brain dead earlier in the day. KYODO

Nearly two years have passed since the revised Organ Transplant Law took effect. The 2010 revision abolished the minimum age requirement for donors and has enabled surgeons to harvest organs from children declared brain dead. Previously, children aged under 15 were excluded from the donor pool.

On June 14, statutory brain death was declared on a boy under age 6 at Toyama University Hospital to pave the way for transplanting his organs. A stricter set of brain death criteria is imposed on donors under that age because their brains are more resilient and capable of recovering from injuries.

The Japan Organ Transplant Network and Toyama University Hospital said they made thorough preparations for anticipated transplant opportunities, including how to speak to the boy's family when he was in critical condition and working out a manual for checking whether a donor had been a victim of abuse.

Medical experts point out that there are not many hospitals sufficiently prepared to handle child donors and there is also the problem of how to interpret the wishes of children who may become donors.

On June 14, Juntaro Ashikari, an official of the transplant network, expressed hope for increased transplant opportunities from children after the announcement of the young donor's case. Speaking at a news conference, Ashikari said that "it will offer a ray of hope for those people who have registered their small children (on the waiting list)."

Read more
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The Future of Transplantation

LifeCenter Northwest

Throughout history scientific and medical advancements have never ceased to shock and amaze. Most new medical developments go up against initial aversion and skepticism only to demonstrate successful outcomes and eventually morph into common practice procedures.

With over 114,000 individuals on the national transplant list and 7,000 successful transplants completed in the United States thus far in 2012, organ transplantation has undeniably become one of those successful procedures.

Progressions pertaining to organ, eye and tissue transplantation have accelerated in recent decades as the medical community continues to understand how the human body works and discover ways we can help defy illness and death.

Although donation and transplantation have come a long way, there are still some significant challenges.

Medicine has come so far, and done such a good job at keeping us alive, that we are all living much longer. While this is most certainly a good thing, there is a bit of a downside. As we age there is more of a risk for our organs to fail. Over the last decade the number of patients on the transplant list has doubled while the number of actual transplants has remained nearly the same. Currently, we are facing a major shortage of organs. Also, there is still always the risk of rejection; the case in which a recipient’s immune system attacks the transplanted organ.

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Older Australians misinformed about organ donation: survey

Nursing Review
More than one third of older Australians wrongly believe they are too old to donate, new research finds.

Research commissioned by the Organ and Tissue Authority has found that while 81 per cent of Australians aged 65 years or more are willing to become organ and tissue donors, more than one third wrongly assume they are too old to donate.

“Age is not a barrier to becoming an organ and tissue donor,” said the Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King.

"My message to all older Australians is to please let your loved ones know your wishes about organ and tissue donation and to understand that age is not a barrier to saving or improving the lives of others.”

She said people who have had cancer or other health problems have been able to become a donor and she called for older Australians to advise their families about their wishes about organ and tissue donation

The research also found that half of people aged 65 years or over have not discussed their donation wishes with family members in the past 12 months and 28 per cent have never had the discussion.

"Many Australians aged 65 years or over believe that it is better to just leave it to their family to decide, even though 82 per cent of them believe it is important that their family know their wishes,” she said.

Read more
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Family ties: One sister saves another with live liver donation

Scope-Stanford School of Medicine

Organ transplantation is never simple, particularly when the procedure involves a living donor, and even more so when the transplant is being done on the liver. The liver is difficult to operate on, its consistency like that of wet tissue paper. There are also the added wrinkles: Among them, the living donor’s liver must be partitioned just right and surgeons must control bleeding in an organ that’s rich with blood vessels.

So, it’s not surprising that Stanford patient Judith Lattin, despite years of suffering from liver failure, was not thrilled at the idea of her younger sister donating a portion of her liver to save Lattin. It’s the role of a big sister to ensure that her little sister stay out of harm’s way, and Lattin had concerns about her sister, Christine Webb, undergoing such a risky and rare procedure. (Only a handful of hospitals in the U.S. even do the surgery.) In fact, when Webb first volunteered to help save her sister’s life, Lattin said “no.”

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3 Pediatric Centers that Offer SynCardia Total Artificial Heart Named in Top 10 for "Best Children's Hospitals

PR Newswire

U.S News & World Report Ranks CHOP #2, Texas Children's #3 and Cincinnati Children's #9 for Cardiology and Heart Surgery

TUCSON, Ariz., June 26, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- SynCardia Systems, Inc. ( ), manufacturer of the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE (Europe) approved Total Artificial Heart, announced today that U.S. News & World Report has named three pediatric centers that offer the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart among the nation's Top 10 "Best Children's Hospitals" for Cardiology and Heart Surgery in its annual list. The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) was ranked #2, Texas Children's Hospital was ranked #3 and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center was ranked #9.

In May 2011, Texas Children's became the first pediatric hospital in the world to implant the Total Artificial Heart. The patient, 17-year-old Jordan Merecka, was born with a "reversed" heart (dextrocardia) and his heart vessels backwards (corrected transposition of the great arteries). In August 2011, he became the first pediatric Total Artificial Heart patient to be discharged from the hospital using the Freedom® portable driver, the world's first wearable power supply for the Total Artificial Heart. Jordan received his heart transplant on Oct. 20, 2011. This August, he will begin his first day of classes in the Maritime Systems Engineering program at Texas A&M.

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UNOS names Tom Gano ‘unsung hero of the year’

WTRV | Alix Bryan

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) A New Jersey man was named the unsung hero of the year for his work in promoting organ and tissue donation.

The United Network for Organ Sharing, based out of Richmond, presented Tom Gano with the award today.

CBS 6 spoke with him about his volunteer work. Gano became an advocate for organ sharing 23-years-ago after his son died.

“I have a 16-year-old son who saved four people at the time of his death,” said Gano. His son died in 1987, in a pedestrian accident.

Story source
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Woman dies one week after being pulled brain dead from car driven by her male friend that crashed into a swimming pool

Daily Mail

A 22-year-old woman has died after the car she was traveling in plowed through a fence and crashed into a swimming pool last Monday.

Ashley Garcia was in a critical condition an Escondido, California hospital, after suffering serious injury when she became trapped by her seat belt in the ill-fated car, being driven by a male friend.

She never woke up after the crash and on Saturday her parents made the excruciating decision to take her off life support at the Palomar Medical Centre.

The driver, Robert Aaron Anderson, got out of the car almost immediately after he lost control, crashing it through a fence and into the pool. But Garcia was unable to escape the Kia Rio fast enough, which sunk upside down.

Speaking for the first time since the tragedy, Garcia’s mother, Kara Laxson, said on Sunday: ‘We cannot express how thankful we are for everyone's prayers, love and support.

‘Everyone in this community has just been amazing.

Laxon told the news site that her daughter’s organs will be donated to help others.

Read more - VIDEO
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American Red Cross issues emergency call for blood donors now

The American Red Cross blood supply nationally has reached emergency levels with 50,000 fewer donations than expected in June. This shortfall leaves the Red Cross with half the readily available blood products on hand now than this time last year.

The Red Cross is calling on all eligible blood donors – now more than ever – to roll up a sleeve and give as soon as possible. All blood types are needed, but especially O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative in order to meet patient demand this summer.

An unseasonably early start to spring may be a contributing factor to this year's decrease in donations. Many regular donors got an early start on summer activities and aren't taking time to give blood or platelets.

In addition, this year's mid-week Independence Day holiday has reduced the number of scheduled Red Cross blood drives. Many sponsors, especially businesses, are unable to host drives because employees are taking extended vacations.

Unfortunately, patients don't get a holiday from needing blood products. The need is constant. Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion. Blood and platelets are needed for many different reasons, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, premature babies – when there are complications during childbirth – and for patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.

In addition to local blood drives, which can be found at

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