One Incredible Gift Changes the Lives of Many Families

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital December 6, 2016

christine-and-henrietta

Christine (left) became a living donor earlier this year to help people in kidney failure. Her kidney donation sparked a chain that resulted in dozens of transplants. Christine is pictured here with Henrietta (right), the final recipient in the chain.

In 2012, Christine Gentry, a high school teacher, was scrolling through Facebook and came across a post from an old friend. In the post, her friend, Julia, sadly announced that she was suffering from kidney failure and needed a kidney transplant. All of Julia’s family members had been tested, but none were suitable donors for her. Julia was sending a final plea.

Christine immediately contacted Julia and offered to help. After testing, Christine was told that she was not a direct match for Julia, but she was an ideal living kidney donor who may still be able to help Julia through a paired exchange donation. Read More »

Kidney Transplant Patient Advocates for Kidney Health

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital December 10, 2013

Bermuda native Pauleter Stevens is a vocal advocate for kidney health.

In the past two decades, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) kidney transplant recipient Pauleter Stevens has become a devoted advocate for kidney health and disease prevention. A Bermuda native who works for the island’s Department of Health, Pauleter was first diagnosed with kidney failure in 1994, after a strep throat infection spread to her kidneys.

“It all started with a sore throat,” she said. “I was pursuing a master’s in education in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1993. My doctor discovered that strep bacteria had traveled to my kidneys.”

As Pauleter is legally blind, she decided to return home to Bermuda to undergo dialysis with the support of her family close by. Dialysis is a process that removes waste and excess water from the blood when the kidneys are no longer able to. It required Stevens to be connected to a machine three days per week for three hours at a time. Suddenly, every daily task and decision required planning in advance.

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Transplants: Using Age to Improve Success

Posted by Blog Administrator April 25, 2012

 

Toshiko Linton

Kidney transplant recipient Toshiko Linton (right), with Surgical Director Stefan Tullius (left)

Dr. Stefan Tullius, Chief of the Division of Transplant Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), believes that recent BWH research could provide the impetus for a major change in how organ donors and recipients are matched, and that being older, at least for transplant recipients, can indeed be better.

A team of researchers from BWH Transplant Surgery and Renal Medicine analyzed data from more than 100,000 patients who received kidney transplants between 1995 and 2008 to find that matching donor and recipient age significantly improves outcomes. Tullius, who led the study, is optimistic that this finding could ultimately lead to an improved donor matching process.

“Right now, 70-year-old patients are competing with 20-year-old patients for the same organs,” Tullius said. “Our research supports a proposal to change the way that we allocate donor organs. We’ve found that when the donor and recipient are more closely matched in age, we are using each organ in the most efficient and best way.”

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