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Living Kidney Donation: Rose's Story

"The great care that I received in UW Hospital was phenomenal. The post-operative education programs allowed me to return home with the security that I was connected to continuous quality care, should any needs arise."
Rose completed the desensitization process prior to her kidney transplant. Her husband Gary was her kidney donor. Rose recounts their experience in her own words.
 
"In June of 2004, my life changed…I went in to the clinic for a regular blood test for my cholesterol and found out something was wrong with my kidneys. I was recommended to a nephrologist who told me I was going to need a kidney transplant within three years. He also told me that I had Polycystic Kidney Disease that was life threatening. That was very startling news to have my life put in such limited terms.
 
I was recommended to UW Hospital and saw Dr. Odorico in October of 2004. He was very thorough and evaluated my needs for a kidney transplant. I was put on a donor waiting list but was told that the wait might be prolonged and that dialysis might need to be an interim option to be considered. My husband and I educated ourselves accordingly, hoping that a slower progression would not necessitate such an intervention. We realized that the major lifestyle changes that would accompany dialysis would place limits on us and that we were in this together, whatever path that lay ahead, it affected us both. We sought out alternative treatments yet were told that options were indeed limited.
 
We were blessed to learn of an antibody desensitization procedure that had been effectively used at Johns Hopkins and later at Mayo hospitals and that with plasmapheresis, offered a promise of cross-match transplants that had not been an option until just recently. My husband insisted on being tested for such a procedure and was approved, with the goal of transferring from a positive to a negative cross-match, as a result of the interventions, that would allow for him to be a viable donor for me. Six treatments were anticipated but plasmapheresis was not necessary because our chemistries became increasingly compatible.
 
On July 14, 2005, under the skilled hands of Dr. Thomas Chin, I had my transplant. He and the rest of the surgical team brought me back to health. Dr. Chin was extremely professional and caring. I will always hold him in high esteem.
 
The great care that I received in UW Hospital was phenomenal. The post-operative education programs allowed me to return home with the security that I was connected to continuous quality care, should any needs arise.
 
My transplant coordinator, Karen, has become a true friend and a ready contact with any questions. Karen is very informative, professional and complete in the advice that she gives me to sustain my continuing wellness and fullness of vitality.
 
My (our) satisfaction with the UW Hospital team of surgeons and after care providers is complete and our gratitude is never ending. The Midwest is blessed to have such a high quality medical facility available and accessible to provide highly specialized and cutting edge treatment and care."