Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta performed its 500th kidney transplant Jan. 28, 2011. Children’s is only the second pediatric kidney transplant program in the Southeast to achieve this milestone and one of only a handful in the United States, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).
Connor Comeans, 17, a senior at Northgate High School in Newnan, Ga., received the milestone transplant. An Eagle Scout who loves theater, acting and reading, Connor first met Children’s Nephrology and Kidney Transplant teams when he was diagnosed with renal failure at age 9. When friends and family learned Connor needed a new kidney, 27 people offered to be tested for donor candidacy. The Emory Transplant Center determined a family friend from Lawrenceville, Ga., was a clinical match, and on the morning of Jan. 28, the donor underwent a nephrectomy, or kidney removal surgery, at Emory University Hospital. Across the country, more than 6,000 transplants are made possible by living donors each year.
“In the past 30 years, we’ve watched the gift of life take place within our walls 500 times and the magic of the process never fades—from watching the transplanted organ turn pink to seeing a resurgence in the patient’s energy just days after surgery,” said Barry Warshaw, M.D., Medical Director, Kidney Transplant Program and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine. “With the growth of paired exchange organ donation, we are hopeful that an increase in available organs will allow us to save the lives of more children through transplant in the near future.”
Established in 1980, the Children’s Kidney Transplant Program is recognized as a leader in kidney transplants, as well as nationally known for excellence in patient care and medical research. The Children’s Kidney Transplant Program has achieved several groundbreaking accomplishments, including:
- In 2010, Children’s completed its first paired exchange kidney transplant.
- In 2009, Children’s completed the most transplants of the 120 centers performing pediatric kidney transplants in the country.
- Children’s end-stage renal disease (ESRD) program offers lifesaving dialysis at one of only two hospitals offering pediatric dialysis in Georgia, and manages an average of 38 pediatric dialysis cases a month.