Approach could help people who might not otherwise receive a transplant
Sometimes, the gift of life can be “re-gifted.”
That is, a kidney previously donated to one person can be re-donated to a new patient after the initial recipient dies, saving yet another life. Procedures in which people receive previously transplanted kidneys are virtually unheard of, but the surgery could save the lives of hundreds of people in the U.S. each year — people who might otherwise die while waiting for a traditional kidney transplant.
Typically, previously transplanted kidneys are lost to future use when the first recipient dies. But Dr. Jeffrey Veale, a transplant surgeon at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center who has performed the rare surgery three times, maintains that re-donating previously transplanted kidneys should become standard practice.
One beneficiary of the surgery is 70-year-old Vertis Boyce, a Las Vegas resident who was freed from the limitations of dialysis in July 2017, when she received a re-gifted kidney from the family of Beto Maldonado. Read more >
UCLA's Dr. Kodi Azari uses novel approach to prepare man for complex surgery
In October 2016, Jonathan Koch, a 51-year-old entertainment executive from Los Angeles, underwent a 17-hour procedure to replace the hand he lost to a mysterious, life-threatening illness. Six months after surgery by the UCLA hand transplant team and countless hours of physical therapy, Koch continues to make remarkable strides in his recovery.
Already, he has used his new hand to hold a jump rope, dribble a basketball, unscrew a bottle top and swing a tennis racquet.
His remarkable story about the illness that nearly took his life and the rare transplant procedure that helped him recover is chronicled by writer Amy Wallace in the April issue of Los Angeles Magazine.
Koch’s story opens with the description, “In just 30 hours, a super fit Hollywood executive went from the top of his game to the precipice of death. What happened next would teach him everything about grace, resolve and the power of love.”
Koch’s road to transplantation began back in 2015 after a sudden illness led to the destruction of tissue in his feet and hands. Following treatment at two out-of-state hospitals and knowing that his left hand would have to be amputated, he sought a transplant. Read more and watch a video >
Denice Lombard and her father, Ted, made history in 1967 by becoming one of the first father-daughter duos to survive kidney transplant surgery in the United States. Today, 50 years later, they both are thriving and are marking the anniversary of Denice’s transplant surgery at UCLA to urge more people to consider becoming organ donors. Read more >
UCLA performed the highest combined number of heart and lung transplants among all U.S. medical centers in 2016, according to United Network for Organ Sharing data, a nonprofit that manages the nation’s organ transplant system. UCLA’s thoracic transplant program performed 170 transplants during the 12-month period: 103 adult lung transplants, 58 adult heart transplants and nine pediatric heart transplants, according to UNOS. Read more >
67-year old Shirley Polk, whose liver and kidney suddenly failed after she developed acute autoimmune disease, received a transplant of both organs at Reagan UCLA Medical Center. On Jan. 13, at an event arranged by UCLA, she met 15 of the 59 strangers whose blood donations made possible the transplant surgeries that saved her life. Thanks to her donors’ generosity, Polk was transfused with 32 units of whole blood, 27 units of plasma and 11 units of platelets. Read more >
A 24 year-old woman with cystic fibrosis is starting the new year with new hope thanks to help from the U.S. Air Force, Chewbacca from "Star Wars" and a UCLA surgeon who said yes to a high-risk case.
Kathlyn Chassey of San Antonio, Texas, was born with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease characterized by the build-up in the lungs of thick, sticky mucus that traps infection-causing bacteria. Chassey's father, Chris, is a chief master sergeant in the United States Air Force. Last November, when her breathing problems worsened. Her condition became critical, and she was placed on life support to take over her breathing function. The only chance of saving her life, doctors warned, was a lung transplant. Read more >
UCLA Kidney Exchange Program Participant Ride on New Year's Day Donate Life Float Donors and recipients of the Nick Damon Memorial Kidney Chain Eight patients and Jeffrey Veale, MD, director of the UCLA Kidney Exchange Program, participated in the 2017 Rose Parade on Monday, January 2, 2017 with the Donate Life Rose Parade Float.
The patients were part of one of the first three-way living-donor kidney transplant chains performed in the western United States.
Meet Sarai Sanchez: A brave and fun-loving 15-year-old who has spent a lifetime battling the complications of a spina bifida diagnosis, including kidney disease. Sarai underwent a life-saving kidney transplant in June of 2015 at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA - and her dad was her donor.
Sarai is a passionate basketball fan, and even spent the night of her transplant watching the NBA playoffs with her father as they awaited their surgeries at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Read more >
UCLA Health liver transplant team represented in the Liver Life Walk Los Angeles hosted by the American Liver Foundation. Our very own Dr. Ali Zarrinpar chaired the event with the UCLA Liver Givers raising close to $9K to help move forward thefight against liver disease.
Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center has performed its 6,000th liver transplant, a national milestone based on the United Network of Organ Sharing database. This is the most liver transplants performed at any center in the country. The transplant was performed by the founder of the program, Dr. Ronald Busuttil, executive chairman of the department of surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and chief of the division of liver and pancreas transplantation. Read more >
An innovative organ donation voucher program initiated at UCLA has started to spread to other transplant programs across the United States. The program allows for living donors to donate a kidney in advance of when a friend or family member might require a kidney transplant. Read more >
Ana Kasparian of Young Turks interviews Dr. Jeffrey Veale and discuss how the Kidney Exchange program brings people from different backgrounds together regardless of the color of their skins.
Video courtesy of KCAL News
Video courtesy of KABC News
Video courtesy of KCAL News
Co-Surgical Directory of the Face Transplant Program discuss Face Transplantation with radio host Jakki Price on WKKB 1520 AM (Buffalo, NY) Listen >
The lung transplant team at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical successfully performed the nation's first "breathing lung" transplant Nov 2012. The ground breaking transplant involved an experimental organ-preservation device known as the Organ Care System (OCS), which keeps donor lungs functioning and "breathing" in a near-physiologic state outside the body during transport. The current standard involves transporting donor lungs in a non-functioning, non-breathing state inside an icebox. Watch video >
UCLA's program is one of only seven heart transplant centers nationwide - and the only one in California - to be ranked at the silver level by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which has federal oversight of the nation's organ donation and transplantation network.