After transplant chain, donors meet those whose lives they saved

OMAHA WORLD HERALD | Julie Anderson

A chain is forged link by link. But it takes one link to start.

Same goes with a living-donor kidney transplant chain, which starts with a single person willing to donate an organ to someone he or she has never met.

On Thursday, 18 people — nine living donors and nine recipients from across Nebraska and one other state — gathered at the Nebraska Medical Center to learn how a chain begun by an Omaha mother of seven had come together and how it is making a difference in the lives of the recipients, one as young as 5.

Until then, none had known how many were involved in what now ranks as the largest single-hospital living-donor kidney transplant chain in Nebraska history and one of the largest chains at a single hospital in the United States. Previously the medical center’s largest transplant exchange was a three-way exchange in July 2016. (A transplant chain is when one person donates a kidney to an unknown recipient, starting a chain of events that allows patients with incompatible donors to swap kidneys for a compatible one.) Continue reading

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