2018 marks 50th anniversary of transplant surgeries at UAB

CBS 42 | Lillian Lalo

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (CBS 42 Living Local) – Since the 1960s, UAB Medicine has grown in worldwide recognition for its history in drug development, and for employing prominent physicians within the transplant field. They continue to lead the way in transplant innovations, with hundreds of success stories coming out of the research hospital each year.

“It’s been 50 years of doing transplants in Alabama, which is one of the longest histories of any transplant program in the country. A lot of programs have ups and downs, but UAB has always done a good job of trying to avoid those valleys and just run an outstanding program over these past 50 years,” Dr. Devin Eckhoff said.

Eckhoff is the director of UAB’s Transplantation Division. He says that UAB transplants about 300 kidneys and 120 livers every year. That means that these life-saving operations happen almost every day at UAB.

“It’s really what we call happy medicine, because these people get a second chance in life. A lot of these people have been staring death in the eye and they’re just waiting, waiting for that phone call,” said Eckhoff.

William Merriweather knows what it is like to receive that kind of life-changing phone call. His wife of 42-years was on dialysis for three years before receiving the gift of life from a donor. Continue reading