Living donors, families of those who die unexpectedly, are key to organ transplantation

BUFFALO NEWS |  Scott Scanlon
“When you’ve donated a kidney, it’s such a significant, huge gift that you feel good about yourself the rest of your life,” says Dr. Liise Kayler, program director of the Regional Center of Excellence for Transplantation and Kidney Care at Erie County Medical Center.

Park Country Club Golf Course Superintendent Scott Dodson has much to be thankful for when it comes to receiving a kidney from a living donor, but leaders of two Western New York transplant hospitals say those in need of a kidney can do almost as well when receiving a kidney from someone who has recently died.

"The sooner somebody gets a kidney transplant – any kidney transplant – the better off they will be in the long run," said Dr. Liise Kayler, who three years ago became program director of the Regional Center of Excellence for Transplantation and Kidney Care at Erie County Medical Center. "They will live longer and have a better quality of life. They'll have more energy. They'll have more time to spend with their family, because dialysis is inconvenient and takes a lot of time. They'll be able to travel more easily and they won't have as many dietary and fluid restrictions."

Kayler estimated that about 1,500 patients in the eight-county Buffalo Niagara Region have end-stage renal disease. Continue reading

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