Moves in Medicine: Living Donors

A Delaware man desperate for a kidney transplant finds his donor in his own home. Temple Health wants to impart the message of the importance of living donors.

"All I know is it worked out I'm forever in your debt, I mean really you guys gave me my life back," said George Patti of Wilmington, Delaware.

Patti is thanking his team from Temple Health for his life-saving kidney transplant.

"I had renal failure was on dialysis and I knew I needed a transplant, they told me I needed a transplant," said Patti.

Luckily for Patti, the answer to his prayers was his wife, Isabelle.

"Believe it or not it was more her idea than it was mine," he said.

Aside from needing a transplant, Patti had a host of other major health problems.

"He had kidney disease, his heart was in weak condition, his arteries are in weak condition, the arteries in his legs are in weak condition," explained Dr. Antonio Di Carlo, Chief of Abdominal Organ Transplant Surgery, Temple University Hospital.

What normally would be a 2-to-3 hour surgery, doubled to 6-to-7 hours, but the result, Dr. Di Carlo, said is nothing short of remarkable.

"His success is beyond anything I can imagine," he said.

Dr. Di Carlo said more living donors, like Patti's wife, means saving more lives.

"Getting word out of the importance and the impact of living donation is key. That you know miracle workers like this made this miracle happen and because he didn't have to wait for a deceased donor kidney, somebody that could not get living donor got access. So his wife helped two people," he said.

Patti said having his wife's kidney gives him extra responsibilities.

"I work out three times a week, I eat like I'm supposed to. And one of the things because my donor lives with me you don't want to do anything wrong. Because she always looks at it like, I gave you a kidney pal take care of it," Patti said.
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