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Our Experience with a Paired-Exchange Kidney Transplant Program

“My wife Cara wanted to do this… we were paired up pretty quickly with someone who was matched up as a recipient for her kidney and a donor for me.”

John Ventresca

Transcript

Once I was an official transplant candidate, we learned about some of the different options that there were, a live donor, deceased donor, or we learned about something called the paired exchange, kind of a kidney swap, and what this is is someone who isn’t a match for you as a donor can donate to someone else on your behalf. So, it’s kind of a crisscross sort of exchange. It can be a couple people.  It can be maybe 20 people or so.  It can be several people all coordinated at the same time donors and recipients all on the same day at different hospitals donating and receiving kidneys.  So, it’s a pretty cool thing. 

So, my wife Cara wanted to do this.  She wanted to donate on my behalf. We found out that her blood type was in demand as a kidney donor. She really had her mind set on helping and really doing this for me, and I really just couldn’t believe it.  I couldn’t believe that she wanted to do this this much have the surgery and losing a kidney, donating a kidney to someone else for me, to help me get a kidney.  So, that was pretty crazy that she wanted to do that, and so I tried to talk her out of it, but as we joke in many ways, she knows best, and it ended up working. We were paired up pretty quickly with someone who was matched up as a recipient for her kidney and a donor for me. 

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