Sunday, June 5, 2005

Kidney story

Today's San Diego Union-Tribune has a heart-warming story about a 74 year old mother receiving a kidney from her 44 year old son:

Three months later, his mother needed a kidney. While on a trip to Oshkosh, Wis., she noticed her ankles were swollen. Within a few months, her kidneys failed. She began going to dialysis treatments three times a week. The procedures exhausted her. Her health deteriorated quickly. She had a stroke and needed surgery to remove her diseased kidneys before a transplant could be considered.

The average wait for a kidney from the transplant donation list in San Diego County is two to five years, said Landes' transplant surgeon, Dr. Evan Vapnek.

Mary Lou Landes, 74, received her son's kidney May 19, 2004. The next day, he said, "she looked like she had 10 years ago. I hadn't realized how ashen she had become, and now her eye had a sparkle in it again.""Younger, healthier people can stand dialysis for many, many years, but older people don't do well," Vapnek said. "She would not have been able to wait long enough to get a kidney off the list."

A donation from a living family member wouldn't necessarily save her. She was older than the typical recipient and her health was poor. During a family dinner at an Italian restaurant in Fallbrook, Landes and his brother and sister all said they were willing to give their mother a kidney. They decided, though, that because of his job flexibility, Landes would be the best choice.

That's quite a gift mom got!

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