There was a Chain of 10 Live-Donor Kidney Transplants

Lahey Hospital in Burlington participated in the event.

In March, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington participated in a major chain of live-donor paired-exchange kidney transplants with nine other transplantation centers around the country. As a result, 10 lives were saved by the collaboration.

The chain, which reps say “stretched from UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco to Lahey Hospital & Medical Center,” was facilitated by the National Kidney Registry. Other participating medical centers included the University of Cincinnati, Cleveland Clinic, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, Loyola University Medical Center, University of Minnesota Medical Center, Froedtert Hospital, and VCU Medical Center.

This is how a live-donor kidney transplantation process happens, according to reps from Lahey Hospital:

Live-donor paired-exchange kidney transplants like this one rely on incompatible donors willing to provide their own kidneys to an unknown recipient in return for an unknown but compatible kidney for their loved one suffering from kidney failure. This process dramatically reduces the time recipients wait on the deceased donor waiting list which could be upwards of three to five years, and provides higher quality organs to the recipients. Lahey Hospital & Medical Center’s Department of Transplantation facilitated the exchange of one live donor and one recipient.

“I didn’t have a compatible donor in my family, so I could have been waiting for years on the donor list to receive a kidney,” says Dan Taylor of Dunstable, Mass. “… with my family member’s willingness to donate a kidney to someone else, I was able to receive this new kidney in a matter of months. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this program to help improve the quality of my life and that of someone else’s.”

Shane Meltzer, of Lyndeborough, NH, said that donating his kidney was an easy decision for him to make. “I was prepared to help Dan, but the paired-exchange program is that much better because I’m a part of something that helps more than just one person,” he says. “It was absolutely an honor and a privilege to take part in the exchange, and I’m thankful for the superb care I received.”

Surgical Director of Transplantation at Lahey, James Pomposelli, says that they hope to participate in more live donor transplants in the future. “It is incredibly gratifying to take part in an event like this one and we look forward to continuing our relationship with the National Kidney Registry to increase the number of live donor transplants in the future,” he says.