Chain of Life
March 12, 2014 1:59 PM   Subscribe

Chain of Life is a three part article done by The Star Ledger of New Jersey, following a rare instance where six patients in New Jersey and New York received kidney transplants in March from six living donors, all unrelated and previously unknown to them. Over 36 hours.
posted by roomthreeseventeen (4 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
(should read March 2009)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:01 PM on March 12, 2014

Okay, I have personal reasons for placing all organ donors in very high esteem, but when I got to the part about the guy who kicked off the chain and his reasons why, I was wrecked. I read it twice, cried both times, and then called my partner and read it to him and cried all over again.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:19 PM on March 12, 2014

Living kidney donoring is a wonderful thing and while many of them are donated by friends or family, this sort of chain is becoming increasingly common, though not at this length.

When we were first looking into kidney transplants for my wife and before it turned out that I was actually compatible with her, that would've been the way it would be done. Wait to find a donor who matched with her, and who had a family member/friend needing a kidney that was compatible with me. IIRC in the Netherlands at the time they were just in the process of moving to a three person chain, making it easier to match kidneys, though of course the complexities of the operation schedules get harder the more people involved. As it was explained to us, it would involve two operations in two different hospitals having to be scheduled at the same time, then get the kidneys to the other on time.

It's a brilliant bit of medical technology, having made kidney transplants much more common and routine then if we had to depend on just deceased donors.

And the best thing is that you have two kidneys, are perfectly able to live healthily on one (I certainly haven't noticed any different) and the operation itself is relatively easy.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:27 PM on March 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Also, also, the kidney thing by Jana Christy is the most adorb thing you'll probably ever read about being a living kidney donor.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:34 PM on March 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

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