Another historic chain: Research Medical Center transplants four kidneys in two days

THE KANSAS CITY STAR | Andy Marso
Kara McGhee donated a kidney and her mom received one as part of an eight-person transplant chain this week at Research Medical Center. Husband Sean McGhee talked with Kara on Friday as she recovered from surgery. Andy Marso amarso@kcstar.com


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When Lori Kloepping got pregnant decades ago, it was quite a shock to her and her husband, Eric, who'd had a vasectomy.

Lori Kloepping had lupus, which made the pregnancy risky for her, and her doctor recommended an abortion.

"We didn't keep him for a lupus doctor. We chose to keep her," Eric Kloepping said Friday, nodding to his now-grown daughter, Kara McGhee, who was lying in a hospital bed.

When the lupus caused Lori Kloepping's kidneys to shut down last year, McGhee was there to offer up one of hers — a decision that not only saved her mom, but a stranger as well.

McGhee and Kloepping were part of an eight-person kidney transplant chain this week at Research Medical Center, the largest in the hospital's 36 years of doing organ transplants and the second-largest ever in Kansas City.

The University of Kansas Hospital completed a 10-person chain in January, transplanting five kidneys into five recipients over two days. Continue reading

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