March 9, 2014 |
Starting at age 15, Katrina battled kidney disease. She could not hold her urine and had to seek out a bathroom every two hours. Her friends noticed and teased her about her small bladder. After months of worrying in silence, she finally found the courage to tell her mother. "Something is wrong," she said. They made an appointment to see the family doctor, who listened carefully to Katrina's story, took a urine sample, and ordered a few routine studies. It turned out that Katrina had early renal failure due to Alport syndrome, a rare disease also known as IgA nephropathy.
February 10, 2014 |
When Jimmy Powell was 21, he begged his girlfriend, Belinda Massey, not to leave with her mother and little brothers, who were moving clear across Alabama. "You're 18 now," he told her. "You can stay. " "You know I can't," she said. "They depend on me. " Her mother, a young widow, had finished nursing school and taken a job. Belinda helped with the boys. Roll time. After 27 years, both divorced, she found him on the Internet. He lived in Trinity, Ala., a town of 2,100, and fixed machinery at a GE refrigerator plant.
February 6, 2014 |
When Monnette Sudler's phone rang on Oct. 27, she recognized the number. It was Temple University Hospital. As she breathed oxygen from a tank, Sudler, 61, a Germantown jazz guitarist who has played with the greats, hardly dared to hope: Was this her chance for a new life? The caller asked how soon Sudler could get to the hospital. Lungs that were a likely match for her body were being flown in from out of state. She was there within two hours. As she was prepared for surgery, she thought nervously about what doctors had told her. One possible outcome: The transplant would succeed.
January 3, 2014 |
Javier Acosta, the Bronx boy who helped to improve children's access to adult donor lungs, is recovering from a double lung transplant at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, according to his mother. But his family's fight to change lung allocation rules turned out to be moot in his own case. Javier, who has cystic fibrosis, turned 12 in August, which automatically made him eligible for adolescent or adult lungs based on his medical need. Two months later, he received lungs from a donor over age 12. "I just want to let everyone know that Javier had a lung transplant on Oct. 13 and is doing fine," his mother, Milagros Martinez, said in a statement.
December 20, 2013 |
COATESVILLE Rick Ortega doesn't hide the fact that he's made some mistakes in his 63 years. He abused alcohol, and in May, 25 years after going to rehab, he received his liver-cancer diagnosis. He's always known he had to deal with the consequences of his choices and didn't make excuses, a lesson he passed on to his two children, his son Matt said. "That's how he led his life," Matt Ortega, 39, said, "and I respect him for that. " The lessons he learned from his father, he said, made the choice to donate part of his liver to him easy.
November 25, 2013 |
PHILADELPHIA Inspired by the case of a young man with autism who was denied a place on a heart-transplant waiting list, a Philadelphia legislator will soon begin gathering support for a state bill that would prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities who want organ transplants. Rep. John Sabatina (D., Phila.) plans to introduce "Paul's Law" in honor of Paul Corby of Pottsville, whose mother, Karen, said doctors at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania refused to put him on the heart-transplant list because of his autism.
October 28, 2013 |
It was fall 1993, and Henri Gutner's kidneys were continuing to fail. He was always tired, his complexion was green, and he was sleeping as much as 20 hours a day. "I had him maybe six hours a day when he was capable of doing anything," recalls his wife, Jeri. With his kidney function down to 8 percent, Gutner, then 43, was told he was facing dialysis and the inevitable disruption it would bring to his - and his wife's - life. "I said, 'There's no way I'm sending my young husband to dialysis,' " said Jeri Gutner, who is five years younger.
August 29, 2013 |
LIKE MOST little girls, the first thing on Sarah Murnaghan's mind when she got home yesterday was playing with her siblings and her dolls. Of course, it was even more special for the 11-year-old Newtown Square girl to return home for the first time in six months after being released from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia after two double lung transplants this summer. "Sarah's looking forward to being a regular little kid, to going outside and playing with her friends," her mother, Janet Murnaghan, said during a news conference in front of the family's home.
August 28, 2013 |
Sarah Murnaghan, the 11-year-old girl whose plight led to a national change in lung-transplant rules, was released on Tuesday and is now back home in Newtown Square. Sarah, who has cystic fibrosis, entered Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in February in dire need of a double lung transplant. Although she remains very weak, she has made remarkable progress since June, when she received two double-lung transplants of adult organs within days. Sarah had waited 18 months for children's lungs before her family waged a media campaign and filed a federal lawsuit to have her placed on the adult-transplant waiting list.