Daughter, father celebrate 50-year milestone of kidney transplant at UCLA

UCLA HEALTH

Denice Lombard was 13 when her father donated a kidney to save her life

Denice Lombard with her mother, Anne, and father, Ted. Six years Denice’s twin sister, Diane, died of kidney failure at the age of seven, Ted donated a kidney to Denice.
Denice Lombard and her father, Ted, made history in 1967 by becoming one of the first father-daughter duos to survive kidney transplant surgery in the United States.

Today, 50 years later, they both are thriving and are marking the anniversary of Denice’s transplant surgery at UCLA to urge more people to consider becoming organ donors.

“I am so very thankful to my dad for giving me the gift of life, not once, but twice,” said Denice, 62, who lives near Washington, D.C. “If you want living proof that kidney donors and their recipients can lead full, happy, healthy lives, just look at us.”

For the first time since that life-saving operation, the Lombard family reunited recently at UCLA, where doctors performed the surgery a half-century ago and helped to change the course of medicine.

“It was a big gamble,” said Dr. Albin Gritsch, surgical director of the kidney and pancreas transplant program at UCLA, who was not involved in Denice’s care at the time. “Denice’s transplant was very brave and pioneering, especially considering she was only 13 years old.” Continue reading
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