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NEWS REPORT
 





 

 

Altruistic Donor Triggers 3-Way Transplant

Matchmaker Janet Hiller, center, the transplant nurse who coordinated the complicated procedure, with Lisa and Scott Keller, two of the six kidney donors and recipients.
Last year, Barry Mendez traveled to Baltimore from his native London to help a friend recuperate from a kidney donation performed at Hopkins. He was so moved by the experience, he decided to donate one of his own kidneys to anyone who needed it. Little did Mendez realize that his decision would help not one, but three people receive healthy kidneys.

On May 15, in what’s believed to be the first “domino” triple-exchange kidney transplant, surgeons at the Comprehensive Transplant Center removed one of Mendez’s kidneys and placed it into the abdomen of Scott Keller, a 30-year-old computer draftsman from Kalamazoo who had waited 15 years for a kidney. At the same time, Keller’s wife, Lisa, donated one of her kidneys to 64-year-old Robert O’Hara of Vestal, N.Y. And O’Hara’s daughter, Kelley, of Falls Church, Va., donated a kidney to Ashley Day, a police detective from Altoona, Pa.

Before the surgeries, transplant specialists had searched their database of patients awaiting kidneys to find the best possible matches. The complicated three-way operation, requiring a team of 50 CTC physicians and other caregivers, was the third performed at Hopkins—and the third in the United States. It was the first such transplant to use a donor with no prior personal connection to any of the recipients. All six donors and recipients recovered quickly, according to CTC Director Bob Montgomery. Mendez’s donation, he said, “was an almost unimaginable act of kindness.”

—Judy Minkove

 

 

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