Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Couples Who Cross-Donate Kidneys

Via Slate:
When Tom Packard began suffering from kidney failure, his fiancee offered to give him one of her kidneys. But Packard, a 65-year-old Manhattan bank executive, and Ann Heavner, 59, weren't a compatible match. After two more donors fell through, the couple showed up in the office of Dr. Lloyd Ratner, director of renal and pancreatic transplantation at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. Ratner punched a few keywords into his personal database and found a 71-year-old New Jersey man who could use Heavner's kidney—and whose 62-year-old wife could give hers to Packard.

So, the two couples made a deal. Last spring, in four operating rooms, four surgeons simultaneously conducted what's known as a "kidney swap." All four patients have recovered. Last month, they spent Thanksgiving together.
Technorati Tags: Kidneys, Transplantation, Kidney Transplantation, Columbia University Medical Center

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