Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Life-Saving Gift

A few weeks ago three nursing residents and I were invited by Sarah Nicholas in our Transplant Program to observe a kidney transplant. I have wanted to see one for some time and this was a great opportunity for me to see how our medical team performs this unique procedure. From what I understand, the patient was suffering from end-stage renal disease that could not be treated with regular medical treatments. The transplant does not cure the patient, but does help her/him have a better quality of life. I did not observe the procurement, but was still moved by the generosity of the donor.
The procedure was performed by Dr. Hemangshu Podder and lasted over lasted over three hours. I was very excited to see a transplant and appreciate Sarah and Dr. Podder for allowing me to do so. I did have a little bit of a rough start early in the procedure. I have not gotten queasy during other surgeries I’ve observed, but seeing the insertion of the Foley catheter nearly sent me to the floor. I had to turn away at one point but was able to keep it together for the rest of the surgery. Dr. Podder and his team were great in answering my questions and explaining what they were doing and how they were doing it. Time went by quickly and I was amazed by how well the surgical team worked together in providing such a high level of care to our patient.
As an administrative resident, it is great opportunity to learn how our caregivers do their jobs. This provides me with an understanding of the challenges and issues they face so that I may better serve them as my own career progresses. I am very fortunate to have access to the outstanding group of caregivers we have here at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth.
I also have a greater appreciation for organ donors who make these types of procedure possible. According to the Donate Life Texas website, “there is a critical shortage of organs, tissues and eyes available for donation. There are more than 96,000 patients in the United States awaiting transplantation—more than 7,000 are Texans. Every 13 minutes, a new name is added to the national transplant waiting list. Every day, 17 people die waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.” These facts were brought to my attention during our Raise the Donate Life Flag event on April 1st this year. Hearing a testimonial from a family whose son was a donor inspired me to register to be an organ, tissue, and eye donor with the Donate Life Texas registry. Organ donors can save up to eight lives and improve the lives of fifty through tissue donation. For more information about becoming a registered donor, see the Glenda Dawson Donate Life Texas website at

- Scott

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