How one Mass. woman’s generosity led to a 4-way kidney swap – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts 2022-06-29 11:58:30 –


“At that moment, I felt like time had stopped. Everything in my world seemed to have converged to this point.”

Courtney Martin, Eric Jenson, and the brothers involved in the kidney exchange. Courtney Martin

A simple social media post combined with the right circumstances led to a four-way kidney exchange at the Tufts Medical Center earlier this year.

Courtney Martin happened to be sitting in an orthopedic doctor’s office because of an injury running when he opened Facebook.

“I picked up to call my husband. I read social media a lot and the page was updated. I used to work with my girlfriend who had a picture of him. I wasn’t her. When I read the story, it felt like time had stopped at that moment and everything in my world had converged to this point, “Martin told I did.

The story she happened to find was that of Eric Jenson. Jenson was on the list of kidney transplants and was looking for a donor, so Martin’s friend posted it on Facebook.

Martin, who had a “bleeding heart” and always wanted to help himself, felt at least asked to help Jenson. There was time as his plans to run the Chicago Marathon were postponed due to an injury to his hip. Immediately she contacted Tufts Medical Center to find out what she could do.

“When I called my husband on my way home, he said,’What’s going on with your hips? What’s happening? Are we doing this? Are you going to Chicago?” “Chicago I won’t go, but I’ll donate my kidneys to someone, “I said. And there was silence. He said, “OK, well, I’ll talk when I get home,” and “I’ve already called,” Martin said.

After filling out the online application, Martin was immediately called by the hospital and then made all the tests and preparations to make sure she was a good candidate to donate a living kidney. I said that.

“I said to the doctor,” I don’t know how many other you are because of Eric, “but I said,” You won’t find a better kidney than my kidney. ” rice field. “I’m an athlete. I eat healthy …. And thankfully, that was really the case. Thankfully, they came back and said,” It’s a first-class kidney. ” “

Dr. Ashtalchami, Medical Director of Kidney Transplantation at Tufts Medical Center, has several criteria to be considered a viable donor, including overall health, some degree of kidney function, and compatibility with the intended recipient. Said.

“Courtney met all these criteria, but the reason she was a good kidney donor was because of her blood type. Therefore, because O is a universal donor, You can donate to other blood types, “says Chami.

Martin said he was really impressed with helping Jenson because of the similarities in their lives.

“Eric is involved in the music scene. He works here in Boston and my husband is a musician. Eric plays hockey, my husband plays hockey. They have a little boy and they have a little son. We have a young son, “Martin said. “If she can’t physically give her husband a kidney, she wants everyone to go forward and do something.”

Later in the year when Martin received another call from the hospital, the pair was on track to prepare a donation. Due to Martin’s blood type, her kidneys were viable for more people, including another person waiting for a transplant through the Tufts Medical Center.

Martin said he didn’t get much information on the first call, except that changing the plan could encourage her donation to donate two people instead of one.

“Toughs make phone calls, and they are like” we have a situation. ” … So I say, “OK, well, what’s the situation?” She goes, “This is all the information I can give you. There is another pair in the hospital. They are a blood match. Not, but you are a blood match to the recipient and his donor is a blood match to Eric. Want to help? “Remembered Martin. “I was like’let me talk to Eric’because I don’t want him to think I’m abandoning him, so I called Eric, and he’s the same exact He said, “If we can help them, why don’t we do it?”

The other pair was a brother duo. A man named Dan needed a kidney. His brother was willing to donate, but it wasn’t compatible.

“Courtney isn’t familiar with Eric personally, so I thought she could help two, not just one,” Cami said. “When someone is a kidney donor and they donate a kidney, it’s a gift. I wanted to not only help Eric, but also try to get the most out of that gift and help more people. . “

When making a kidney replacement, doctors strive to keep it fair to everyone involved, Cami said. Cami helped coordinate this particular exchange.

“When I think about donating kidneys, I really want to be fair when doing swaps. I don’t want to give kidneys to young people like really old kidneys … but my brothers are also very young and she tells her brothers. We could donate, so we thought about it, “Chami said.

If the siblings were instead placed in the kidney exchange registry, the transplant could have been finally done, but it could have been much later, and Dan started dialysis before receiving the donation. I may have had to.

According to Cami, such exchanges are not uncommon, but what is unique in this situation is that the direct donor, in this case Martin, chooses to donate to someone else to promote another donation. That’s what I did.

“If brothers are donating to sisters, it would be difficult for us to approach them and say:” Hey, don’t donate your sisters, even if you’re compatible. And Donate at random. Strangers, “Cami said. “That’s why we chose Courtney and Eric. She didn’t know him well, so we chose our brothers. But I nevertheless, given who she is as a person. I feel she would have done it. “

All four agreed to switch and all had surgery on the same day.

Kidney donation surgery is a relatively safe procedure, Chami said. He said that some patients were painless in just a few days and most were painless within a few weeks after surgery. Martin said she returned to normal mood and had a simple surgery and recovery.

“When people donate their kidneys, they don’t lose 50% of their kidney function. The remaining kidneys make up for the lost kidneys, so they lose 15-25% of their kidney function. Therefore, it’s more efficient. The body is really smart and the kidneys are really smart, “Chami said.

According to Martin, the four people involved in the kidney exchange are still in contact.

“I was able to connect with Dan’s mom right after the surgery. At that moment, I read her text and I think it was when it hit me. It wasn’t a big deal for me. And she was very grateful, very sweet, very grateful, and from mom to mom, she realized that this was a really big deal, “Martin said.

Donations of the kidneys help improve the patient’s quality of life, Cami said.

“It’s important for people considering living donations that about 100,000 people are waiting on the transplant list, so many are suffering during dialysis or while waiting for a kidney transplant. “I will.”

Martin encouraged people to check if they were good candidates for making a living kidney donation.At Tufts Medical Center Online application She said what people can do to get started.

“If this is what you’re talking to, if you’re impressed with it, call the hospital directly. The great thing about Boston is that we’re in the best medical center in the United States. All The hospital has a live donor website, “she said.

The cost to the donor is usually minimal, as the cost to the donor is covered by the beneficiary’s insurance, Chami said. In some states, including Massachusetts, there are also tax credits for kidney donors, he said.

Cami emphasized that donors can be revoked at any point in the process, even just before anesthesia for surgery.

“Our biggest thing when assessing kidney donors is that we want to keep them out of danger. In medicine, it’s always the first and harmless,” said Chami. “Someone comes forward to give this incredibly altruistic gift. One of the things we want to make sure is that they are safe.”

Martin said his son looked back on this and, as Rogers says, remember that you need to look for a helper and sometimes you have to be a helper.

“I have a five-year-old son. I say something to him every morning before he goes to school. First I say” lead with kindness “and then” others “Treat”, and he always says “the way we want to be treated.” So if there is no action behind those words, yes, what’s the point? “Martin said. “When mom and dad say something to you like how we treat others the way we want, sometimes you want him to know that you have to take that action. . “

How one Mass. woman’s generosity led to a 4-way kidney swap Source link How one Mass. woman’s generosity led to a 4-way kidney swap

Back to top button