Hospital Reaches Kidney Milestone
COLUMBIA - Doctors announced Wednesday University Hospital performed its 1,000th kidney transplant last month. The recipient of the kidney was Columbia resident eight-year-old Ethan Russell. The donor was someone special in his life, his mother Nancy Russell.
"We just look at the positive side of it and knew we could fix it. And knew there was a lot worse out there. It's just a kidney, we have extras," said Nancy Russell.
Eighteen months ago, doctors diagnosed Ethan with kidney failure and told him and his parents in order to survive, he'd eventually need a transplant.
When his mother tested positive as a match, their transplant made history.
"Over the last 38 years, 1,000 patients have benefited from renal transplants at the University Hospital," said Dr. Mark Wakefield, Renal Transplant Director. In a news release, Wakefield said, "Much of the credit for our program's success goes to Dr. Gilbert Ross, who was instrumental in starting University Hospital's kidney transplant program 38 years ago and building it into the success it is today."
His diagnosis came after Ethan's autism prevented his parents from understanding why their child was sick so often. Because of improvements in technology, doctors say Ethan's kidney should last about 20 years.
At University Hospital, more than 90 patients are on a waiting list to receive a kidney transplant.