A major milestone was reached last week at the DHR Health Transplant Institute.
Surgeons Philip Thomas, MD and Jose Almeda, MD, successfully performed the institute’s 50th kidney transplant surgery Friday, June 12, reaching a milestone that had been anticipated by the DHR Health Transplant Institute since the program’s inception in 2016.
The transplant was done to Jose Palomo, 64, who had spent eight years on dialysis according to a news release from DHS.
Palomo’s new kidney was donated to him by a deceased organ donor.
“Today’s transplant surgery will allow him the chance to love longer and live better,” DHR Health Transplant Institute Transplant Nephrologist Mourad Alsabbagh, MD stated in the news release. “Reaching this milestone brings DHR to a new level of medical success. DHR Health will continue fighting against kidney disease and will continue to support the community in remaining healthy for themselves and their families.”
As the only CMS and UNOS certified kidney transplant center in the Rio Grande Valley, the DHR Health Transplant Institute is the only facility in the Rio Grande Valley that currently offers kidney transplant services, allowing patients to get a new chance at life and receive state-of-the-art care right here in the RGV.
“This transplant is monumental for several reasons, but mainly indicative of the enormous amount of effort and drive the team at DHR Health Transplant Institute has put forth to get to the 50th transplant,” states Philip Thomas, MD, Transplant Surgeon at DHR Health Transplant Institute.
“This was a combination of an innovative use of a donor organ, along with major coordination efforts at finding a donor that could help save a life. We have an incredible team that worked relentlessly to ensure a successful outcome. It took over two days of all day, all night effort to ensure we could get the organ for the patient, as this organ offer had also been reviewed by multiple other centers,” states Jose Almeda, MD, Transplant Surgeon at DHR Health Transplant Institute.
People typically get on the transplant list when their kidneys are below 20 percent of full functioning. Over 120,000 people in the United States are on the organ transplant waiting list, many of which will never receive the life-saving organs they need. A single donor can save as many as 8 lives through organ donation, as well as improve the quality of life for up to 75 people through tissue donation. Local registration for organ donation is available and can save the lives of thousands.
For information about the DHR Health Transplant Institute, please call (956) 362-LIFE (5433).