Tanner's Transplant

By: Mimi Murphy
By: Mimi Murphy

Over the years Tanner Edwards has made many trips to UW Hospital in Madison for treatment of a rare disease. But Friday, it was different. Tanner's father Don Edwards donated one of his kidney's to save his 14-year-old.

Tanner Edwards was just a year old when he was diagnosed with cystinosis. Tanner's family has known for years they would have to make the trip to Madison for a kidney transplant. And although UW hospital is known throughout the world for it's successful organ transplants that doesn't make the wait any easier on the family. When he went into the holding area right before they took him to surgery he was a little emotional.

As family and friends anxiously wait, tow teams of surgeons actually do the transplant. One removes Don's kidney while the other waits across the hall to transplant the organ into tanner. Pediatric Nephrologist Dr. Aaron Friedman has been Tanner's doctor since he was diagnosed with cystinosis.

He says Tanner's new kidney will be protected form the disease. Medical advances since Tanner was first diagnosed make his future much brighter.

The surgery was a success. Doctors say it went very well. Tanner's new kidney started working almost immediately. Both father and son are recovering in Madison Friday night.

Friends of the family have set up a fund in Tanner's name to help with the huge medical costs. Donations for can be made at any Amcore Bank

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Kidney Transplant Statistics

  • Over 79,000 U.S. patients are currently waiting for an organ transplant; nearly 3,000 new patients are added to the waiting list each month.

  • Every day, 16 to 17 people die while waiting for a transplant of a vital organ, such as a heart, liver, kidney, pancreas, lung or bone marrow.

  • Because of the lack of available donors in this country, 2,025 kidney patients, 1,347 liver patients, 458 heart patients and 361 lung patients died in 2001 while waiting for life-saving organ transplants.

  • Nearly 10 percent of the patients currently waiting for liver transplants are young people under 18 years of age.

  • Acceptable organ donors can range in age from newborn to 65 years or more. People who are 65 years of age or older may be acceptable donors, particularly of corneas, skin, bone and for total body donation.

  • Vital organs may be recovered and transported thousands of miles to a transplant center for transplantation. This is due, in part, to advances in preservation techniques. The approximate preservation time for a kidney is up to 72 hours.

  • Donor organs are matched to waiting recipients by a national computer registry, called the National Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). This computer registry is operated by an organization known as the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), which is located in Richmond, Virginia.

  • Currently there are 59 organ procurement organizations (OPOs) across the country, which provide organ procurement services to some 261 transplant centers.

Source: http://www.kidney.org (National Kidney Foundation Web site) contributed to this report.


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