Whether itaˆ™s a literal lifesaver or an immense reprieve from time-consuming dialysis, a donor kidney can make all the difference in someoneaˆ™s life. Hereaˆ™s Usha Lee McFarling, reporting for STAT News:
Vertis Boyce of Las Vegas is thrilled with the aˆ?pre-ownedaˆ? kidney she received in July, which allowed her to stop the dialysis treatments sheaˆ™d been on for nine years and start traveling again. She recently attended a nephewaˆ™s wedding in North Carolina.
aˆ?I feel free again,aˆ? she said. aˆ?I can do all those normal things you take for granted.aˆ?
At the moment, itaˆ™s too soonaˆ”and there are too few casesaˆ”to tell how the performance of twice-reused kidneys compares to ordinary transplants, which typically last up to 12 years. But all three of Vealeaˆ™s patients now living with twice-recycled kidneys are doing well, months after surgery.
Now,A aˆ?pre-ownedaˆ? kidneys are not the only kidneys being reconsidered for transplants. Around the country, surgeons are successfully transplanting kidneys from HIV- and other disease-infected donors into similarly infected patients.
In light of his preliminary success, Veale stands by his hunchaˆ”that the best way to determine a kidneyaˆ™s suitability for transplant, he says, is how it performs in a lab test, not its history.