Altruism

November 13th, 2013
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If you haven't seen it, check out the story in Wednesday's Star-Advertiser by Kristen Consillio on the first "altruistic" kidney donation performed by the Queen's Transplant Center.

It tells the story of Mike Bailey, a 60-year-old Lihue dentist, who donated a kidney to Anne Hussey, 55, of Kaneohe. The two have no familial or friendly ties. It was simply, as doctors described, a selfless act on the part of Bailey to a stranger.

Hussey was among the hundreds awaiting an organ transplant in Hawaii and among the estimated 156,000 people in Hawaii (yours truly, among them) who suffer from Chronic Kidney Disease, or CKD.

There are approximately 410 Hawaii patients awaiting organ transplants, mostly for kidneys, Queen's said. The biggest obstacle to shortening the list is the lack of organ donors, said Whitney Limm,† Queen's vice president of clinical integration. About 5 percent of people on the waiting list die every year, he said.

What's more, Hawaii consistently has the longest waiting time compared with the national average due to the higher rate of renal failure and inadequate number of donors.

For someone who is actively trying to avoid ever getting on that donor registry, it's heartening to see the Queen's Transplant Center doing such work. The center opened in March of last year, three months after the sudden closure of the Transplant Institute of the Pacific. Part of the Hawaii Medical Centers' Liliha Campus, the transplant institute was a casualty of HMC's bankruptcy filing earlier that year.

For more information on organ donations, call the Queen's Transplant Center at (808) 691-8897.

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† - Another personal connection, Dr. WhitneyLimm is the surgeon who removed my cancerous thyroid back in July. (And I swear I haven't been treated by every doctor in the country. It only SEEMS that way. =)

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