Longest Multi-Center "Kidney Chain" on Record for Two Transplant Patients from Porter Adventist Hospital »
Two Denver-area residents and Centura Health's Porter Adventist Hospital are part of the longest multi-center "kidney chain" ever accomplished. When the chain is complete – a single recipient and single donor are still waiting for their surgeries – the chain will include a total of 35 kidney recipients and 35 donors. Twenty-six hospitals across the country are involved in the chain.
A kidney chain starts with an individual who wants to donate their kidney, most often to a friend or family member who is not a compatible match. Through the National Kidney Registry, that individual is then paired to another candidate with an incompatible donor. From this point, both donors give their kidneys to viable recipients, and the chain keeps growing by pairing donors with compatible matches.
The Denver participants in the most recent chain are Littleton resident Jerome Peralta, 45, who needed a kidney, and Michele Martin, 25, a longtime family friend of Peralta's who offered to donate a kidney so he could get the life-saving organ he needs.
The chain that allowed Peralta to get a new kidney started with a donor in San Francisco and went through transplants at hospitals in California, Wisconsin, Virginia, Colorado, Tennessee, Connecticut, Washington, Oregon, Minnesota, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.
Peralta received his kidney from a donor in Virginia on January 8. "You can feel the poisons being cleaned out by the new kidney. You literally start to feel better and better by the day," Peralta said after the surgery.
A week later, Martin had her kidney removed at Porter by surgeon Mark Jones, MD. The kidney was flown to a recipient at the California Pacific Medical Center. "I feel like it never happened. If I had it to do over again, I would," Martin said at her follow-up visit after her three-day hospital stay.
Peralta was only 30 years old when his kidneys failed, and he had to start dialysis. Seemingly overnight he went from being a healthy, active young man to having chronic illness.
Martin, a firefighter and army reservist from Henderson, has known Peralta nearly all her life. Their families have been camping and off-roading together for years. When she found out Peralta needed a kidney, she didn't hesitate to offer one of hers.
The Porter Adventist Hospital Transplant Program is one of the premier kidney, liver and pancreas transplant centers in the country. Patients at Porter see only board-certified physicians, and their entire transplant team is dedicated exclusively to helping patients in every aspect of their treatment from medical care to dietary guidance, from social and psychological support to assistance with financial and insurance matters. [Chrissy Nicholson]