Doctors perform Wake Forest Baptist's first heart-kidney transplant

Winston-Salem Journal | Fran Daniel

Keith Overcash says he’s grateful for a second chance at life after undergoing the first heart and kidney transplant at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

“Physically, I feel the best I have since probably 2004,” said Overcash, who in 2014 was bedridden, in a wheelchair and on home oxygen.

Overcash, who is 54, received a heart and kidney from the same donor. The combined operation was in early September 2015 and lasted more than 18 hours. The heart surgery was done first by Dr. Ted Kincaid, an associate professor of cardiothoracic surgery at Wake Forest Baptist, followed by the kidney operation that was performed by Dr. Jeffrey Rogers, professor of surgery at the medical center.

The first heart-kidney transplant in the United States was performed in 1989, but the procedure is still uncommon.

Dr. Barbara Pisani, a professor of cardiology at Wake Forest Baptist, said that 5 million people in the United States have heart failure. Continue reading