Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The New Jersey Miracle

Back in February, medical staff in the transplant unit at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey completed a kidney transplant chain involving 16 people over a period of three days. An anonymous donor started the chain that saved eight lives with eight kidney transplants. During a reunion of 15 of the 16 people involved back on April 21st, only the anonymous donor was missing, it was reported that all of the recipients are doing well.

Many of the people in the chain who needed transplants had spouses who were willing to donate. However, their spouses were not compatible matches, so a complicated and lengthy process began to match stranger to stranger. Eventually, a viable match was found for all eight who needed a life-saving kidney transplant. Medical staff had to match blood types, antibodies, and tissue types within a computer data base to map out all the exchanges. Amazingly, in this age of technology, they even used a simple chalkboard to keep track of which kidney went where. Two years ago, Saint Barnabas was involved in a kidney chain involving 12 people and two other hospitals. However, this 16-person chain involved only Saint Barnabas' patients. They outdid themselves this time.

To me, the neatest thing about this whole deal, besides the fact that eight lives were saved, is the fact that it involved spouses and began on ..... Valentine's Day. Now, these spouses will have the opportunity to spend many more Valentine's Days together. How neat is that ??

Source : article titled Donors, Recipients in Chain of Eight Kidney Transplants Gather for Reunion

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