Washington man first in U.S. to test artificial kidney

BOTHELL, Washington (WPVI) -- Chuck Lee of Bothell, Washington has become a medical pioneer.

He is the first in the U-S to test a wearable artificial kidney.

Lee has had diabetes for 40 years and 2 years ago, went into kidney failure.

He volunteered to wear the artificial kidney for a 24-hour test at the University of Washington's hospital.

The 10-pound device belt is just an initial version, to prove the concept works.

But doctors put it to the test, letting Lee go off his normally restrictive diet, and eat whatever he wanted.

"I ate 2 orders of mac & cheese for dinner. I ate Cheetos all night long," Lee quipped with a smile.

Lee says it was a rare treat.

And Doctors say the artificial kidney worked perfectly to cleanse his blood.

The goal is make a device like that smaller and lighter for patients.

The Food and Drug Administration has already given the artificial kidney expedited status, clearing the path for a faster approval as developers perfect it.
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