KC surgeons link four kidney donors with strangers in need

Kara Marxer
June 25, 2018 - 6:03 am

Doctors at Research Medical Center in Kansas City are celebrating the successful completion of an eight-person kidney transplant chain that they say saved four lives.

"It took one anonymous donor to get the chain started, and then there were other individuals that matched up from all over the region," said Dr. Joe Cates, one of the surgeons. "By the time we got everybody matched up four people got kidneys."

Two donors came from Colorado and Wichita.

Doctors participating in transplant chains  shuffle around available kidneys so that all the recipients end up with the organ that's the best fit for them, regardless of their relationship with the donor.

All of the patients are doing very well, especially the ones who received new kidneys, Cates said.

People who are interested in becoming living donors can contact the Midwest Transplant Network.

"There's almost no chance, if you want to do this, that you wouldn't match up," Cates said.

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