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Featuring Robert Montgomery, Professor of Surgery, Chief of Division of Transplantation, Director of the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Transplant Center
My name is Robert Montgomery and I’m a transplant surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital and I’m the Director of the Comprehensive Transplant Center.
Transplantation is dramatic. You take a person who’s extremely ill and in many cases someone who is going to die - in some cases very soon - and you put a healthy organ into them and it just transforms them.
I think what makes the Hopkins Transplant Center unique is the people who are involved in this enterprise. We have the most dedicated people I’ve ever been involved with in my life and everyone comes to work every day and, you know, wants to make a difference and wants to save lives and wants to be part of this miracle of transplantation. And there’s a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and hard work that goes into doing what we do and being as good as we are at it.
Interestingly, a lot of our patients find us, and often times it’s through networking with other patients who have been treated here or, you know, searching on the internet. And a lot of these patients have been told that they are not transplantable - that they will just have to stay on dialysis. And dialysis is not a very good way to live. It’s associated with a much shorter life expectancy. So when they come to us, many of them have lost hope and one of the great things that I’m able to do is actually sit down with them and say, “Look, there are options. There are things that can be done. I think there’s a high likelihood that we can get you transplanted and that transplant will be successful.” And that, to people who have given up hope, is an incredible thing.
We’re a transplant center in a hospital that has a tremendous depth of expertise, that is a leader in the field in terms of research and innovation and new developments, but we don’t forget the human part of what we do. We’re doing a lot of really interesting things here – a lot of interesting protocols, allowing people to receive a transplant who wouldn’t otherwise or who wouldn’t at other institutions. We do it one transplant at a time and we do it with a sense of humanity.