HEALTH: Renal Ward transplanted 12 kidneys in seven days

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Renal Ward transplanted 12 kidneys in seven days

Patients on the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Renal Ward have thanked transplant coordinators, nursing, and surgical teams for their care and agility in a huge week for kidney transplants.

Twelve kidney transplant operations were performed on the Renal Ward between Friday 15th and Friday 22nd of September 2023, three of which were from live donors.

One of these live donors was Carole Murphy. Carole joined the UK Living Kidney Sharing Scheme (UKLKSS) with her friend Maria Walsh who required a kidney transplant. Carole met Maria on holiday in Ibiza over 40 years ago and they have been friends ever since. Unfortunately, when doctors told Maria that she needed a kidney, Carole was not a match for her. Carole knew that she could still help her by joining the sharing scheme.

The UKLKSS started in April 2007 because many ‘difficult to match’ patients had friends and family who wanted to donate a kidney but were not a compatible match by blood group or tissue (HLA) type. If a patient enters the sharing scheme with their friend or family member, the pair may be matched with another pair in the scheme so that each recipient receives a kidney from the other’s friend or family member. People can also donate to the scheme without having a partner or knowing anyone who needs a donation.
This sharing scheme increases the number of people who can receive transplants from living kidney donors and the opportunities for patients who wait a long time for a transplant.

Carole and Maria both found matches on the scheme, Carole from another partnership and Maria from a solo donor. Both recovered on the Renal Ward just a few rooms apart.

Maria explained her gratitude to Carole and to her donor.

“I will never have the words to thank Carole enough. She has given me a miracle. Right from the start she said that she would donate to me and that, if she didn’t match, she would join the sharing scheme. It is an unbelievable gift. I also thank the altruistic donor of my kidney. Without their kindness and the scheme, we also wouldn’t be here,” said Maria.

Carole explained how easy the process has been.

“We started this process just nine months ago and it has flown in. We cannot describe the level of care and kindness that we have had from the transplant and nursing teams from start to finish. Both of us would like to say a huge thank you to everyone that has cared for us on our journey and to the full Renal Ward team. They have been incredibly busy and yet gone above and beyond for us,” said Carole.

Susan Easson, Senior Charge Nurse, Renal Services, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde echoes this.

“It has been a remarkable week for transplants on our ward, and what is more rewarding is that the transplants have taken place during Organ and Tissue Donation Week. The nature of transplanting is that the timing is incredibly unpredictable. Like most areas of surgery, a high degree of agility and hard work is required to perform these surgeries and to manage the recovery. I join these patients in extending my thanks to the teams involved,” she said.

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