Famous Kidney Donors

, , 3 Comments

Kidney transplant involves a nephrectomy or the surgical removal of a kidney and its transference from a brain dead or heart failure donor or from a willing, living donor followed by its grafting to the recipient suffering from ESRD, the End Stage Renal Disease. In view of the possibility of rejection by the body of the recipient, the compatibility of the donor is of critical importance, and it is preferred that the donor is a biological relative of the recipient. Sometimes the kidney of a willing and genetically related donor may not be compatible with the kidney of the recipient, and in that case the donor’s kidney is utilized for a matching patient in exchange for a matching kidney for the intended recipient, and this type of donation is called the daisy chain. In 2004, the FDA had approved a drug which reduces the need for the blood type of the living donor to be the same as that of the recipient. A kidney transplant usually involves an incision of about 4-7 inches, and the surgical operation under general anesthesia takes about three hours to complete. A team of surgeons performed the first robotic transplant through a two-inch incision at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in January, 2009.

1. Ronald Lee Herrick

Ronald Lee Herrick
Ronald Lee Herrick

Ronald Lee Herrick was the world’s first kidney donor who donated his kidney to his identical twin brother Richard Herrick. The kidney transplant operation was performed on December 23, 1954 by Dr. Joseph Murray at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Boston. The operation was successful, and Richard lived for eight years after the kidney transplant. It was a great achievement in the history of medical science, and Dr. Murray won the 1990 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his transplant work. Murray said about it, ‘This operation rejuvenated the whole field of transplantation’¦There were other people studying transplants in four or five different countries, but the fact that it worked so well with the identical twins was a tremendous stimulus.” Ronald Lee Herrick died at the age of 79 years in the Augusta Rehabilitation Center in Maine, New England.

2. Martin Abbott

 Sir Michael Woodruff
Sir Michael Woodruff

The first human kidney transplant in the U.K. was performed by Sir Michael Woodruff and Clint McMillan on October 30, 1960 at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Lewis, a 49-year-old patient, was diagnosed with irreversible kidney failure, whereupon his twin brother, Martin Abbot, donated his kidney for transplant. Dr. Nolan recalled, ‘It was a truly memorable day. We had the entire unit to ourselves. I assisted with the first operation to remove the kidney from the donor and then had the task of carrying it through to the recipient before I assisted Professor Woodruff with the second operation on the recipient.’ At the 50th anniversary of the first U.K. live donor kidney transplant, Surgeon John Forsythe of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh said, ‘The bravery of the twins and the work of Woodruff and his team showed that we could overcome the surgical problems of transplants, and since then we have gradually overcome many of the problems of rejection.’

3. Abby Finer

Steven Cojocaru
Steven Cojocaru

Abby Finer is the kidney donor friend of Steven Cojocaru, the famous fashion designer and member of the popular TV show Entertainment Tonight. His best friend, Abbey Finer, came to rescue Cojo when he suffered from PKD, polycystic kidney disease. She donated him one of her kidneys. The kidney transplant surgery was performed on January, 2005. After the operation, he said that he was alive and kicking! He exclaimed, ‘I kind of find it liberating, the new me is so Zen and is so at peace.’ However, unfortunately, the kidney got a viral infection; therefore, he had to undergo another transplant within six months of the first transplant.

4. Amelia

Amelia
Steven Cojocaru

Steven Cojocaru said, ‘I felt like Superman’ three months after the first transplant, but coming home from an Oprah show in April, he experienced pain, fever, sickness, and weakness. His doctor told him that that his kidney was infected with polyoma virus, and he told him, ‘It’s poisoning you, and it’s going to kill you.’ The 43-year-old Cojocaru was badly in need of the second transplant. His 70-year-old mother Amelia offered to donate him her kidney, but Cojocaru was not willing. His friends and doctor convinced him to accept the offer on account of her blood type matching with Cocojaru’s, eliminating the risk of incompatibility and consequential rejection of the transplanted organ. The transplant was performed successfully on October 11, and Cojaru commented, ‘We’ve developed this bond that we can’t even talk about”it’s too emotional.’

5.  Olle Westling 

Olle Westling
Olle Westling (left)

Olle Westling was born on January 7, 1945. He was father of Prince Daniel, Duke of Vastergotland and husband of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. Prince Daniel was diagnosed with irreversible impairment of the kidney; therefore, he needed a kidney transplant. His father, Olle Westling, donated him his own kidney, and the transplant operation was performed at Karolinska University Hospital on May 27, 2009. He is credited for his openness and was always ready to volunteer when and wherever needed. He voluntarily worked in nursing homes when the need arose for extra personnel. Hunting, motorcycles, and family are his main interests.

6. Hazel

Lucy Davis
Lucy Davis

Hazel is the mother of the famous actress Lucky Davis who is best known for her performance as Dawn Tinsley in the BBC comedy The Office. During the performance of her lead role in Pride & Prejudice, she was diagnosed with kidney failure. She was diabetic. And when diagnosed for kidney failure, she was hospitalized near Christmas, 2005. Her mother Hazel donated her kidney in 1997.

7. Noel

Sean Michael Elliott
Sean Michael Elliott

Noel is the elder brother of Sean Michael Elliott, a retired, professional, basketball player who played in the NBA, National Basketball Association. In spite of his suffering from a kidney ailment, he had played in the championship run. He was diagnosed with an irreversible kidney condition and needed a transplant. He had undergone kidney transplant surgery on August 16, 1999. The kidney was donated to him by his elder brother Noel. Elliot is the first player in the history of basketball to have undergone a kidney transplant and who resumed playing basketball afterwards in a game against the Atlanta Hawks. He announced his retirement from the game in 2001.

8. Sima

Ivan Klasnic
Ivan Klasnic

Ivan Klasnic is a Croatian footballer of the international team. In 2006, he suffered from kidney failure and underwent surgery for a kidney transplant in January, 2007. His mother, Sima, donated him her kidney but, unexpectedly, his body rejected the mother’s kidney, and he required another transplant only two months after the first transplant. This time his father was the donor, and the operation was performed successfully on March 13, 2007. He was not allowed any strenuous exercises in the beginning, but in view of his quick recovery, his doctors allowed him to train for the sport. He became the first footballer who participated in a major event after a kidney transplant.

9. Ann Lopez

George Lopez
George Lopez

Ann Lopez was the wife of George Lopez, the American comedian and actor and talk show host, who is best known for his ABC sitcom George Lopez. In April, 2004, he was diagnosed for end stage kidney disease and was recommended for a kidney transplant. In view of hurting the 170 people working with him, he postponed the surgery until the end of the fourth season of George Lopez. His wife, Ann Lopez, donated her kidney to him, and the transplant was successful. During the post-operative period, he lost 45 pounds  in weight. He spread awareness about the kidney transplant through Max, the son of his TV character.

10. Nick Ross

Kerry Francis Bullmore Packer
Kerry Francis Bullmore Packer

Nick Ross was a long-serving helicopter pilot of Kerry Francis Bullmore Packer. Packer was born to Sir Frank Packer and Gretel Bullmore on December 17, 1937 and died on December 26, 2005. The Packer family had the controlling interest in the Nile Television Network and the publishing company Australian Consolidated Press. Bullmore Packer was an Australian tycoon, and he suffered from a kidney disease for many years. He was ultimately constrained to undergo a kidney transplant in the year 2000. His long-serving pilot, Nick Ross, was his kidney donor. Packer survived until the end of 2005, and by that time he was the richest and most influential Australian.

Conclusion:

Compared with other organs, kidney transplants are considered easier and safer as the plan B kidney dialysis was available as early as the 1940s. Whereas this ease of kidney removal and transplant has been a blessing for last-stage kidney patients, it has also been a causative factor in allowing the organ traders to fulfill their nefarious tasks. The notorious Indian organ trader, Amit Kumar, is facing charges of illegally organ trading in more than 600 illegal kidney transplants. Buying kidneys from the less-privileged people of the poverty-stricken areas in developing countries is the darkest aspect of this hopeful episode of kidney transplants.

 

Tea Time Quiz

[forminator_poll id="23176"]
 

3 Responses

Leave a Reply