Friday, August 28, 2009

Attention, Grey's Anatomy producers...

After the glut of hospital/doctor shows in the late '90s, I refused to catch the tidal wave that is Grey's Anatomy. I personally do not feel like I've lost anything by not keeping up with Meredith and McDreamy, but the look on people's faces when they realize their breathless retelling of the best parts of last night's Grey's made absolutely no sense to me is preciously comical. 

However, the three stories I have today all involve kidney transplants and have all the elements of being "made for TV." 

My college roomie Michelle sent this first one my way from Rita Van Loenen, a 63 year-old woman from Arizona, made trips to her dialysis appointments in Tom Chappell's taxi after she was diagnosed with kidney disease and one transplant had already been rejected. Chappell decided to put his name on the list to be tested for a match after several of Van Loenen's family members tested negative. He turned out to be a perfect match and will give his long-time passenger a kidney. Chappell's employers are so pleased with his decision, they are covering his wages for the entire, four-to-six week recovery time. 

MSNBC had a story awhile back on a massive, 14-person kidney swap. Dr. J. Keith Melancon performed a "domino transplant" between six males and eight females over a four-day period. Most of the participants who donated were involved because a loved one of theirs needed a transplant. Two people were "altruistic donors" and knew none of the recipients personally. 

Dr. Melancon performed his surgery at Georgetown Hospital, but doctors at UCSD Medical Center recently performed San Diego County's first paired donor kidney swap. Patti Ford had been on the national waiting list for four years and was receiving dialysis, while Paul Bryan had been waiting six months and was about to start dialysis. Ford's husband, Patrick, donated a kidney to Paul, while Bryan's wife, Robyn, donated one of hers to Patti. All four are doing fine, according to their physicians and the San Diego Union-Tribune.

(Photo courtesy of MSNBC)

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