Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Liver, kidney transplant patients receive ultimate Christmas gift

KANSAS CITY, KAN.—  When Troy Guffey first got the call there was a donor match for his liver transplant, he said he wasn’t ready emotionally.

“I told them to give it to someone with a family,” Guffey, the single man from Butler replied. “But, the voice on the other end of the phone softly said, ‘No, this is your liver’.

Troy Guffey was the 100th transplant for the year 2013, at The University of Kansas Hospital.

His surgery was Sunday, Dec. 10.  Since then, ten more transplant patients have received the ultimate gift of a donor liver setting a record 110 transplants in 2013 … and the year is not over. Kidney transplants likewise have reached the 110 milestone for the year.

“The number of transplants performed is important to the community and hospital because it represents patient’s lives saved,” Tim Schmitt, MD, associate director of surgery and director of transplantation at The University of Kansas Hospital Center for Transplantation said.

“Based on our volume KU will likely be among the top 10 transplant programs in the U.S. this year,” Jim Kindscher, MD and professor of anesthesiology said.

Continued growth of the program and access to transplantation in our region is important for the area and The University of Kansas Hospital patients. Patient outcomes are some of the best in the country with growing volumes.

“Efficiency in the OR continues to improve our overall patient experience and long-term outcomes,” Sean Kumer, MD, assistant professor of surgery and surgical director of transplantation added.

Behind every transplant are dozens of people who have worked together as team perfecting their skills and enhancing patient outcomes.

That team includes nurses, coordinators, anesthesiologists, hepatologists, nephrologists, nutritionists, pharmacists, and surgeons.

“It could not be possible without the support of the community who put faith in us to treat the patients,” Dr. Schmitt said.  “Most importantly it could not be possible without the generous gift of life that the donors and their family give.”

Transplant patients in the hospital over the holidays received tiny Christmas trees as part of their celebration of life.  Transplant recipients tell us this holiday season holds special meaning.