Based on my success rate to date in getting a kidney-pancreas transplant, you might already have guessed what happened Saturday during my latest attempt to receive organs to cure my diabetes and kidney disease.
It was my eighth time to be summoned to UPMC Montefiore for the transplants. I'm now 0 for 8.
It had high potential. The donor was a 15-year-old West Virginian who had died from a stroke apparently caused by a metabolism disorder. But that disorder did not impact the quality of the kidneys or pancreas. Kidney function numbers were incredibly good.
So I headed to Montefiore at 11 p.m. Friday and spent the night there. It was my third visit last week for a transplant, without success. The typical problem is that the pancreas isn't of sufficient quality for successful transplantation, and that's what occurred this time, too.
As it turned out, the teenager's pancreas was swollen, apparently due to efforts to resuscitate him or her. These stories always are sad and make one think of the turmoil family members are undergoing in deciding to allow organs to be offered for transplants — lungs, heart, kidneys, pancreas, liver among many others. Many lives are saved with organs from a single donor, But it still is sad to think about what just had happened to make such organs available.
About 6 a.m. Saturday, after a night of little sleep due to preparations for a transplant should organs prove to be good quality, I was told the pancreas couldn't be used.
That means the kidney goes to the person first in line for only a kidney transplant with the right blood and tissue type.
I was told I could go home. This one really was a surprise. I thought for sure that the transplants would happen.
It's tough for doctors and nurses to tell a patient that he or she has spent the night full of hope in the hospital without results. They apologize profusely. They wish me better luck next time.
Again, no regrets.
It's disappointing, for sure. But it also proves that doctors are dedicated to transplanting only quality organs.
So the game continues as I await to be summoned to the hospital for the ninth time.