Kidney transplant program celebrates 25 years at Methodist

Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital commemorated the 25th anniversary of its nationally recognized kidney transplant program today with a celebration at the Institute of Texan Cultures. Some 200 recipients, donors and family members joined staff in tying green ribbons around 25 trees. Green symbolizes organ donation and transplantation awareness.

 The kidney transplant program, part of the Texas Transplant Institute at Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital (MSTH), is ranked among the top ten percent of centers nationwide with nearly 3,000 transplants performed in its 25-year history.  It is the largest kidney transplant program in Texas.  Earlier this month, the program reached a national transplant milestone—its 50th paired kidney exchange transplant.  This unprecedented number of exchange transplants at a single center makes the program at MSTH the busiest exchange transplant program in the country.

 The program also is a leader in utilizing living donors with 1,345 of the nearly 3,000 kidney transplants performed using a family member, friend or paired exchange. Fifty-four paired exchanges have taken place since March 2008.

Dr. Francis Wright

“The average person who receives a kidney transplant lives 10 years longer than the average person on dialysis,” said Francis Wright, M.D., Solid Organ Transplant Program director and transplant surgeon.  “It is rewarding to see the many lives that have been saved through kidney donation and transplantation.  The recipients and donors are an inspiration to us. They embody the spirit of hope and sharing that is such an important part of kidney donation.”

 More than 85,000 people are on the national kidney transplant waiting listing, and most of them wait three to six years or more to receive a donor kidney.  About 4,500 Americans die every year on while on the waiting list.  The waiting list for kidney transplants in South Texas is higher than the national average due to the prevalence of diabetes. For more information about incompatible kidney donor matching, phone 210-575-8425 or 1-800-888-0420.

— SA Health

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