Saturday, August 31, 2013

New Tylenol warnings for extra strength Tylenol (acetaminophen)

Organ transplant patients are told not to use aspirin* or ibuprofen for pain relief but to use Tylenol (acetaminophen) as a safer alternative. If used properly Tylenol is safe when used as directed but overdosing can cause serious problems such as sudden liver failure. 

Acetominophen (Tylenol®) can be taken safely if the daily dose does not exceed three grams (3,000 mg), or 6 extra strength tablets, in a 24 hour period. 

It is important to read the labels on medications to know the content and dosage prior to taking the medication. 

It is important to avoid any medication that contains ibuprofen or naproxen because they can interact with anti-rejection medications and cause kidney failure. Those medicines can also cause stomach ulcers and dangerous gastrointestinal bleedingExamples that contain ibuprofen or naproxen and should be avoided include Advil®, Motrin®, Naprosyn® or Aleve.

*Aspirin-based drugs which contain salicylic acid, should also be avoided unless prescribed by a physician. Many times baby aspirin is prescribed to prevent heart attacks and is usually safe.

New Tylenol labeling unveiled

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Hunger strikers for organ transplant access meet with hospital officials

Former Hunger Strikers Continue Dialogue with Hospital Representatives, Start New Organization

eNews Park Forest

CHICAGO, IL –(ENEWSPF)—August 28, 2013. On Tuesday, August 27th, members of the Luchando Por La Vida (Fighting For Our Lives) campaign for access to organ transplants for undocumented immigrants met in a roundtable discussion with representatives from local hospitals, state & county government, business, and nonprofit groups, among others, at Rush University Medical Center. 

The primary goal of the afternoon meeting, facilitated by Dr. David Ansell from Rush, was to continue a dialogue and exchange ideas on the issue of facilitating access to organ transplants to the poor, undocumented, and uninsured, and in particular, to discuss access and funding for crucial post-transplant medications.

The organizer of the Luchando Campaign, Father Jose Landaverde, along with three patients in need of transplants, presented the hospital transplant teams in attendance with a case list of several transplant patients. The transplant teams stated their willingness to take the cases and to decide amongst themselves how to distribute them between their various hospitals, which include Rush, Loyola, Northwestern Memorial, Christ, Stroger, and St. Francis.

Much of the meeting was focused on continuing dialogue and exchanging ideas on the logistics and public policy side of providing and increasing access to organ transplants. It was stressed by Ansell that this was not to establish groundbreaking policy decisions but rather to have a "fruitful dialogue".

The Luchando campaign also began the process this week of transforming itself into a more formally organized group. Luchando Por La Vida will be a new nonprofit, starting on September 1st. Its stated purpose is to advocate for access to health care for all people, without regard to economic or immigration status. While its current focus is on the group of undocumented immigrants who have been demanding access to organ transplants by engaging in direct action tactics such as a hunger strike, street marches, and overnight vigils outside hospitals, the group aims to put the issue of health care access for all in the national spotlight.

Looking forward, the Metropolitan Chicago Health Care Council has agreed to host a forum this fall for all the transplant teams, while the Luchando Por La Vida group will continue to act in solidarity with all who are denied heath care.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Teen refuses heart-lung transplant

Liam Gawthorpe
Liam Gawthorpe has undergone a number of operations to treat his condition

A teenager from West Yorkshire who suffers from a condition meaning his heart could stop at any time has turned down a possibly life-saving operation.
Liam Gawthorpe, 18, from Heckmondwike, who has a congenital heart defect, has told doctors he does not want a heart and lung transplant.
The teenager said he had seen too many people die after having undergone similar operations.
His father, Neil, said he was proud of his son's "phenomenal" decision.
"He knows what he wants to do and what he wants to be," said Mr Gawthorpe.
"He told the doctors, 'why mess with something that's still working? Let me just get on with life'."
'Sigh of relief'
Mr Gawthorpe said his son's condition meant the family was always worried about whether the teenager would survive another night.

Start Quote

While the 18-year-old has undergone a number of operations over recent years, he recently told doctors he did not wish to undergo an operation to replace his heart and lungs.
Liam, who helps run the family's pet shop in Heckmondwike, said he had "seen too many people come and go" after a transplant.
"I just want to keep the business going and keep other people happy," he said.
His mother, Sharon, said she fully supported her son's decision not to have a transplant.
"He's happy with the life he's got and he says he's got enough to deal with without dealing with that as well.
"I'm happy with his decision and he just takes every day as it comes."
John Dark, professor of cardiothoracic surgery at Newcastle University and a member of the British Transplant Society, said the success of such operations was increasing.
"There is of course always a risk, especially if there has been previous surgery but the successful results of such operations are going up all the time."
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Teen survives double-lung transplant, but is upset about missing One Direction concert

Music triumphs (Supplied photo)
Amanda Kakoz, 13, underwent a double-lung transplant recently, but missed her favorite band, One Direction, who stopped by Toronto last month for a concert.  Now, her only hope is to connect with them.
BRAMPTON, Ontario— Every breath Amanda Kakoz, 13, takes, she sort of owes it to an organ donor.
Last month, the Brampton teen, underwent a double-lung transplant after battling pneumonia.
Amanda has pulmonary hypertension, a type of high blood pressure affecting the arteries in the lungs and the right side of her heart. When Amanda was a baby, her parents were warned that if medication failed, lung transplantation was the only cure.
Amanda enjoyed playing basketball up until recently when she couldn’t shake-off a flu which soon escalated into pneumonia. Distraught parents rushed her to Brampton Civic Hospital (BCH) and from there to Toronto’s Hospital For Sick Children (Sick Kids). When her health took a turn for worse, the Brampton teen, found herself on the Trillium Gift of Life Network’s (TGLN) organ wait-list.
“When Amanda was placed on the organ wait-list, we were worried because we knew it would be a long road to recovery,” said John Kakoz, 58, Amanda’s father. “But we had no doubt in our minds that Amanda would find her donor quickly. She was a miracle child as an infant and we knew she would do it again...”
After a month of waiting, a donor finally became available. On July 25, Dr. Thomas Waddell, a well-known thoracic surgeon, performed a double-lung transplant surgery on Amanda from which she’s now slowly recovering.  
Amanda, who considers herself as the most avowed fan of the English-Irish boy band One Direction, had literally etched the date of the band’s tour to Toronto (July 10) into her psyche and cajoled her parents into buying her the tickets. For two years, she talked of nothing else. Then, a week before the concert, she was hospitalized.
“She wanted to come home for just one day so she could see the One Direction concert,” Samantha Kakoz, 17, Amanda’s older sister said. “She’s very upset about missing them. Even now, she only listens to their music in the hospital”
Since the double-lung transplant, the Kakoz family, has pledged to raise awareness about organ donation.
“I know a lot of people who have been on the organ wait-list for years, waiting for a match,” said Samantha Kakoz. “When Amanda was seriously ill, not knowing what will happen was the worst thing. I look at organ donation from a different perspective now and see how important organ donors are...”
As of Aug. 22, there are 1,474 sitting on the wait-list for an organ and this includes the 1,033 people in need of kidneys, 72 for heart and 88 for lungs. The Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN) data shows there are 2.7 million organ donors in Ontario. Donor registrations however fluctuate widely across Ontario. In the GTA, where rates have traditionally been significantly lower than in the rest of the province, every community has reported an increase over the last three months.  
“The increase in donor registrations is encouraging, but we can and must do better,” said Ronnie Gavsie, TGLN president and CEO in a press release. “At a 23 per cent registration rate, Ontario sits well below the U.S. registration rate of 45 per cent.”
To become a organ donor visit

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Transplant Drug Added To Vanderbilt’s PREDICT Personalized Medicine Program

Newswise — Vanderbilt has added genetic screening for the drug tacrolimus to its personalize medicine pharmacogenomics program PREDICT. The new drug screening protocol was added following data that shows a single genetic variation largely impacts different dose requirements for patients.
Tacrolimus is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for organ transplant recipients and is essential for patients receiving new hearts, kidneys and other organ transplants because the drug suppresses the body’s immune system to prevent organ rejection. The drug however can have potentially harmful side effects if not used in precise amounts. Genetic testing through PREDICT offers important benefits to Vanderbilt’s patients due to the variance in individuals’ requirements for how much tacrolimus is needed to prevent organ rejection.

PREDICT provides Vanderbilt’s patients a personalized pharmacologic profile tailored to each patient.
Marketed as Prograf, tacrolimus has a narrow therapeutic window. If too little of the drug is used acute transplant rejection may occur. Too much can cause serious side effects, including a form of diabetes and squamous cell skin cancer.
“This is an example of a striking variation in genetics by ancestry,” said Dan Roden, M.D., assistant vice chancellor for Personalized Medicine. For example, African Americans are more likely to require higher doses of tacrolimus.
More than 2,800 Vanderbilt patients have been found to carry this genetic variation and more than 600 of them are adults who have received or are awaiting heart or kidney transplants.
This information is now included routinely in the electronic health record. Doctors who prescribe tacrolimus receive notifications that they may need to adjust the dose if their patients carry the genetic variation.
Tacrolimus is the fifth drug for which pharmacogenomic information is included in the patient’s electronic health record at Vanderbilt. The other drugs are the anti-platelet drug clopidogrel (Plavix), the anti-coagulant warfarin, the cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin (Zocor), and thiopurine therapies, which are used to treat certain cancers and autoimmune disorders.
Since it was launched in August 2010, PREDICT has genotyped more than 14,000 Vanderbilt patients for 184 different genetic variations that affect the body’s response to various drugs.
More than 12,000 of the patients, 88 percent, have genetic variations that increase their risk of adverse effects from one or more of the five drugs currently included in the electronic health record, said Julie Field, Ph.D., PREDICT project manager.
As the value of genetic testing becomes established for other drugs, this information will be added, Field said.
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Friday, August 23, 2013

Patient wanted for documentary on transplant tourism

If you or anyone you know has traveled to China to receive an organ transplant as a 'transplant tourist' this request may be of interest. Merv.

"Hi Merv,

I'm doing research for a documentary being shot around the world but originating in the Vancouver (Canada) area. The producer is Leon Lee and the doc's English working title is "Transplanting Hope".  Leon has quite a bit of material shot already but is in need of a Canadian "transplant tourist" to interview.  Preferably they would have traveled to China since the year 2000 and the operation could be either successful or problematic.

The closer to the Vancouver area for this person would be best for our meager budget.  Due to security precautions we don't expect you to forward names to us but if you know of anyone or can post on your blog for someone, they can get in touch with me at this email address."

Thanks Merv,

Vince Eagle

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Get kidney transplant faster in the US with new web app

Want a kidney transplant faster (in the US)? There is an app for that!

Press release

WESTON, Mass.Aug. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- OrganJet Corporation, the leading provider of advisory and transportation services for kidney and liver patients on transplant lists in the US, today announced the availability of a self-service web-based tool that helps patients find kidney transplant centers with low median wait times that are closest to where they live.  This tool is free and is accessible from OrganJet website.

"There is significant disparity in wait times across different geographic areas, ranging from over 5 years in areas like NJ, MA, Washington D.C. and CA, while it is half that (or less) in regions like Pittsburgh, PAPortland, OR and Madison, Wisconsin," said Sridhar Tayur, Founder and CEO of OrganJet and a professor at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business. Every year, over 5000 patients die waiting for a kidney in some parts of the US while organs in other regions may go unused.  While the actual numbers of wasted organs is a subject of debate, it is generally recognized to be in the range of 500-2500 annually.

"Our goal is to provide affordable options for patients on transplant lists in high wait time areas so that they can increase their access to organs by also listing in a transplant center that has a far lower wait time.  Research has shown using data for the past 5-10 years that patients listed in well chosen multiple centers have significantly increased their chance of receiving a transplant. This free web-based tool (that also works on several mobile devices) brings that information and access to everyone," said Tayur.

About OrganJet: For more information, please go to

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

British team top medal earner at World Transplant Games

After Olympics and Paralympics success... Team GB tops the medal table at the World Transplant Games

mail online
Exactly one year after the storming success of Team GB at last summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, another team from these shores was raising the bar even further.  

This time it was the Great Britain and NI transplant team who stormed to the top of the World Transplant Games medal table.  

Held in Durban, with over 55 countries represented from around the world, Team GB & NI topped the medal table with 114 gold, 74 silver and 55 bronze medals, which blew away all other nations including USA, Australia and hosts South Africa.

The Games were a congregation of transplanted athletes from the world over. The competition was open to anyone who has undergone a major organ transplant such as hearts, lungs, kidneys, livers or bone marrow.

World Transplant Games
World beaters: Athletes, including swimmer Liam Barnett (far left), show off their individual honours

Athletes took part in sports across all disciplines, including athletics, swimming, badminton, tennis, squash, cycling and volleyball. The Games are open to all ages, and aim to celebrate life and the possibilities of life after transplantation.

One of the major forces within the team GB medal machine was the swimming team, which filled the medal vacuum created by the nations swimmers at the World Champs in Barcelona. In total, the swimming team came away with 58 gold, 25 silver and 17 bronze medals.

What is even more impressive is that 16 adult world records were set during the two days of swimming. In fact, seven of those world records came from Liam Barnett, a liver recipient who claimed seven gold medals from seven events after receiving his new organ just two years ago. For his efforts Liam was awarded with the Outstanding Male Athlete Award, presented when the Games had come to a close. 

'The Games are a fantastic opportunity to show the world what is possible after transplantation, and I hope that I have inspired others to make the most of life,' the 26-year-old said. 

In the junior girls category, a similar success story was mirrored by kidney recipient Nicole Mackenzie. The 15-year-old 
claimed seven Golds and seven world records in the pool, and was awarded with the Outstanding Junior Girl Award for the Games.
World Transplant Games
Love game: Members of the Team GB ladies tennis team are all smiles in Durban, South Africa

Another sport that saw GB dominance was the badminton. One of the leading badminton stars was John Tibbutt, a 36-year-old Kidney patient from Histon, who claimed three gold medals in the 30-39 age singles, doubles and mixed doubles. He also picked up a bronze in the squash. John had been given his second chance by a kidney donated to him by his mum. 

John said: 'It is very hard to show your appreciation to those who have saved your life, but competing at the World Transplant Games is a way to show that you are making the most of your second chance”. 

Meanwhile, Team GB also lit up the competition in the track and field events, winning 29 golds, 28 silvers and 13 bronze medals. A total of 70 medals; 21 more medals than their closet rivals, the South Africans. 

The World Transplant Games in Durban excelled in its aim of showing the possibilities of life after transplantation. But another aim of the Games is to increase awareness and those signing up to the Organ Donor register. 

World Transplant Games
All good things come to an end: Triumphant athletes take part in the Games' closing ceremony

It is constantly reported that people are signing up, but not quickly enough and many patients die on the waiting list. Mike Dorricott, a liver recipient who won gold in golf said: 'What Transplant patients do in the games is a great advert for what the NHS does. You always hear of the negative aspects of the NHS, but without it, none of us GB & NI transplant athletes would be here in Durban'. 

All those involved in team GB & NI transplant team are passionate about encouraging people to sign up to the Organ Donor Register and discuss their wishes with their family. 

To register, call 0300 123 23 23, text SAVE to 84118 or visit

Read more: 
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Monday, August 19, 2013

Heart-Lung Transplant woman to compete in first sport event

Stories like Natasha's give me great joy because they show that it is possible to return to a normal healthy life and participate in sports after an organ transplant. Transplant games help to celebrate the triumph of the human spirit and they provide organ transplant recipients with an opportunity to show that organ donation and transplants work.

Natasha Rogers is taking part in the British Transplant Games. She is pictured with her Mum, Ann, and Dad, Graham.
Natasha Rogers with her Mum, Ann, and Dad, Graham.

Aug 18, 2013

A Northampton woman who had a heart and lung transplant 12 years ago is set to take part in her first ever sporting competition.
Natasha Rogers is taking part in three sports in the British Transplant Games, which start today in Sheffield.
Natasha, aged 38, of Leafields, Wakes Meadow, Northampton, will compete in the tenpin bowling, mini marathon and cricket ball throwing for Team Harefield.
Natasha had her operation on June 26, 2001 – one of only nine transplants of its kind in the UK that year.
She was in hospital for 13 weeks after the operation, but was eventually able to return home and live a life she was only able to dream of before.
Natasha, whose story has been featured in the Chronicle & Echo since she was a child, said: “I am very excited. I’ve been going to the gym, which I started about three years ago, and I’ve started jogging, but I’ve not done any competitive sport. I’m looking forward to taking part in something I’ve not been able to do before.
“I will do my best, but I don’t expect to win a medal just yet.
“I had never heard of the games until about three years ago, as it’s not really advertised anywhere.
“Now it is getting closer and closer, I am feeling quite emotional.”
Natasha will be supported at the games this weekend by her proud parents, Graham and Ann.
Mr Rogers said: “There are people going from all over the world who we are in touch with on Facebook. I can’t wait to see them, and see their loved ones taking part.
“Natasha is under no illusions about the games. She is well aware of her limitations and ability. Winning events would be lovely, but the important thing for her is that she is alive, thanks to the selfless gift from a family who, at a sad time for them, decided to donate the organs of their loved one.”
Mrs Rogers said: “The main idea is to advertise transplantation, and show what people can achieve. Natasha can do things now she could never, ever do before.”
Seventy teams will take part in venues including Ponds Forge and the Don Valley Stadium. Once the competitive action is over, the Rogers family will be enjoying a gala dinner on Sunday, which will be attended by 1,500 people.
Natasha says she is already thinking about competing again next year if she enjoys her experience.

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Chinese Organ donation program to operate in 165 hospitals

.......China's donated organs will be sourced entirely from dead citizens instead of executed criminals within two years.

Global Times

Hospitals that are qualified to carry out organ transplants but fail to develop a national organ donation program will have their transplant license revoked immediately in order to advance the program as promptly as possible.

Huang Jiefu, director with the Organ Transplant Committee under the newly established National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), said on the China Hospital Forum held in Beijing on Friday that the organ donation program and a national organ allocation computer system would operate among a total of 165 accredited hospitals nationwide to ensure the fairness and transparency of allocating the organs.

Huang explained that a regulation will soon be released by the NHFPC to enforce the computer system, namely the China Organ Transplant Response System (COTRS).

The conference was held to promote the idea of hospitals setting up Organ Procurement Organizations (OPO), responsible for the procurement of deceased-donor organs for organ transplantation.

Francis L. Delmonico, president of the Transplantation Society in Canada, said at the conference that COTRS is a brand of fairness and transparency in the allocation of donated organs, noting that if the system is not perceived by the public as fair, they will not donate.

"There must be a computerized waitlist objectively determining, selecting, identifying who's the next person to live with a heart, or with a kidney," he said. "It becomes essential in the function of the OPO to maintain public trust by the computerized waitlist."

Delmonico also noted that cash payments should be prohibited, as it would make bargaining inevitable.

Huang said Wednesday that China's donated organs will be sourced entirely from dead citizens instead of executed criminals within two years.

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Thursday, August 15, 2013


To register in UK click here

It is very gratifying to note that we have performed over 4,000 transplants in 2012/13 for the first time ever in a single year

The number of organ transplants carried out in the UK has reached a record high, figures show.

There were 4,212 transplants in 2012/13, up 6% on the 3,960 in 2011/12, according to a report fromNHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT).

Around a quarter (1,101) of the transplants were as a result of living donors giving a kidney or part of their liver. The rest (3,111) involved organs donated after a person's death.
Thousands of people remain on the waiting list, with around three a day dying while waiting for an organ, according to NHSBT.
At the end of March, there were 7,332 patients waiting for a transplant, with a further 3,030 temporarily suspended from transplant lists for reasons including being too ill to undergo an operation. Some 466 patients died while on the active waiting list for a transplant.
Although the vast majority of living organ donors gave a kidney, 33 donated part of their liver, the report said. The number of corneas donated in 2012/13 was 6,390 - a 9% rise on last year.
According to NHSBT, more needs to be done to increase the number of families willing to donate the organs of their loved ones. It said more than four out of 10 families approached about organ donation last year refused to donate.
NHSBT's director of organ donation and transplantation, Sally Johnson, said: "These donations ensured that for the eighth year in succession, the number of people benefiting from an organ transplant increased. But although we have seen year-on-year increases in activity, the UK can and must do more to save and improve lives through organ donation and transplantation, and family refusal is now our biggest problem.
"If the NHS is to save even more lives, more people need to sign up to be a donor, more people need to discuss donation with those close to them and more families need to support donation on behalf of a loved one. Only then will we match the world leaders in the field of organ donation and transplantation."
Professor Anthony Warrens, president of the British Transplantation Society, said: "It is very gratifying to note that we have performed over 4,000 transplants in 2012/13 for the first time ever in a single year. This builds on the sustained effort of many people to successfully achieve the target of a 50% increase in deceased donors in five years set by the Organ Donation 

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Age need not be a barrier to lung transplantation

It amazes me that some transplant centers still use age as a criteria for lung transplants when it has  been proven that successful lung transplants are possible in older patients, some even into their seventies. Each individual should be evaluated on his or her potential to have a successful outcome.

Lung transplant tends to have a good outcome in older patients according to a new survey.

Lung transplantation was first carried out in 1983 and is seen as a reasonable option for patients who have progressive lung disease. However, there has always been an upper age limit because it has been believed that lung transplant is risky for the elderly. Currently, the recommended age limit for double lung transplant is 60 and for single lung transplant 65 years. However, there are pressures on these age limits as the number of those over 60 in the population increases.
Researchers at the University of Virginia Health System have been looking at outcomes of lung transplant in older patients.

Of the 182 lung transplant recipients at the hospital, 52 were between 60 and 69 and 15 were over 65. The five year survival rate for those over 60 was 54.7 per cent and this is higher than the national average for lung transplant recipients of this age, which is 38.6 per cent. The corresponding figures for those under 60 were 61 per cent and 49.8 per cent.

The University of Virginia researchers believe the key to success is a high quality of care given to elderly patients in the earliest stages after a lung transplant. They also think it important to give single, rather than double, lung transplants where possible. The study findings suggest that age need not be a barrier to lung transplant.

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Friday, August 09, 2013

Irish team returns from World Transplant Games with 34 medals

As athletes from 55 countries return home from the 19th World Transplant Games in South Africa officials are busy planning for the  20th World Transplant Games, Mar del Plata, Argentina 2015:
Start Date 30th Aug 2015
End Date 5th Sep 2015
World Transplant games are held every 2 years and celebrate the triumph of the human spirit and the hope that is behind every transplant. They provide organ transplant recipients with an opportunity to show that organ donation and transplants work and that it is possible to return to a normal healthy life and participate in sports after a transplant. The games have a global impact on raising organ donation awareness. Congratulations to the Irish athletes and to the participants from 54 other countries for their amazing achievement at this year's games.  

IRISH ATHLETES DID us proud at the World Transplant Games this week, winning a total of 34 medals – 12 of them gold.
In total, the team members won an impressive 12 gold medals, 10 silver and 12 bronze.
The 24 athletes arrived home today from the 19th World Transplant Games in Durban, South Africa, with an impressive haul of 34 medals as well as treasured lifetime memories.
In total, they scooped 12 Gold, 10 Silver and 12 Bronze medals.
The team were greeted by delighted family, friends and supporters at the arrivals hall at Dublin Airport’s terminal two. Among them was Transplant Surgeon David Hickey from Beaumont Hospital, who had operated on some of the Irish transplant athletes.
The Irish team, ranging in age from 12 to 68, were placed 14th overall on the medals table at the games. They were amongst almost 1000 organ transplant recipients from 50 countries at the games.
The team members reported that the atmosphere was “electric” at the games, while the competition was “extremely tough” and the standards very high.
Team Ireland Manager, Colin White said:
Our hosts put on a spectacular week that brought together inspiring people from all over the world to celebrate the gift of life through sport and demonstrate that organ donation and transplantation works.
John Moran (54) from Glasnevin, Dublin, Tony Gartland (50) from Carlow and teenager Andrew Duncan (15) from Tipperary, a newcomer to the team, secured the most medals, winning four each.
The youngest member of the team, Oisin O’Gorman (12) from Waterford, secured a Gold in Badminton and two Bronze medals in the Long Jump and Ball Throw events (12-14 years).
Tony Gartland, the first person to undergo a liver transplant in Ireland, secured 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze medals and paid tribute to his deceased organ donor for his success.
Tipperary woman Sheila Gregan, who took the Gold medal in the virtual triathlon event and a Bronze medal in the 400m freestyle event, said “at the end of the day the reason I am here is down to my donor and the decision the donor family took to donate their loved ones organs. I find it difficult to articulate my gratitude in words so I honour my donor by using my body to the best of its abilities, through sport.”
Robbie Lyons (19) from Laois won a Bronze in the Long Jump event. Robbie, who broke a world record in the under 18’s Long Jump event at the previous World Transplant Games in Sweden two years ago, said “participating in the Games reminds me that being here is all down to my donor and their family’s decision to donate their family members’ organs.”
Team Captain Harry Ward from Baldoyle said:
It’s wonderful to be here with such a wonderful team and it’s fantastic to see them all competing to the best of their abilities.
For more information on the 19th World Transplant Games and Transplant Team Ireland, visit the team blog.

Read: Pride and anticipation as transplant athletes head to World Transplant Games

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Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Hunger Strike Continues For Undocumented Immigrants Needing Organ Transplants

By MyFoxChicago, Fox News Latino

Hunger Strike Chicago.jpg

FLASH - follow up to this story -  As reported Aug 8, 2013 by In These Times the undocumented immigrants have won access to organ transplant waiting lists. Read the full article

Monday marks the seventh day of a hunger strike for protesters demanding access to organ transplants for undocumented immigrants at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

There were about 40 picketers in front of the hospital on Sunday, including the 14 people on the hunger strike.

"We're asking for help," said Blanca Gomez, 23, who needs a kidney transplant. "I go to dialysis three times a week. I'm not going off the hunger strike until I get on the transplant list."

Gomez said she had lost four pounds and was surviving on water and Gatorade.

The group said 14 undocumented Mexican immigrants who live in the Chicago area need either a liver or kidney transplant. But they can't afford it because they are denied federal health care. They are not U.S. citizens.

The protesters said they would stay until Northwestern Memorial CEO Dean Harrison agrees to a meeting.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital is one of the only hospitals in the region to offer live donor liver transplants.
On Sunday afternoon, a spokesman for Northwestern Memorial Hospital was not able to provide answers about Northwestern's transplant policies.

The situation boils down to a moral and ethical dilemma, said Dr. David Ansell, chief medical officer at Rush University Medical Center.

"One the one hand, the intent of the national transplant registry is to base transplants on who needs them most, but there are indeed a whole group of people who find themselves shut out," he said. "And these are people who are uninsurable, and it creates an ethical dilemma of doing the right thing against the extreme cost of doing a transplant."

An average kidney transplant can cost between $100,000 and $200,000, Ansell said. The care needed before and after surgery, in addition to medication, can cost tens of thousands more.

"These are people who contribute to the community. The answer can't be no access, but it's going to require calling together all the transplant centers in the region, as well as politicians and members of the community to find an equitable solution," Ansell said. "The other thing to note is that 20 percent of organs come from uninsured people, but around 1 percent of organs go to uninsured people who need them. These people donate the organs, but mostly don't get access to them."

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