BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — UAB hospital recently undertook in the longest living-donor kidney transplant chain ever to be recorded in the United States, possibly saving the lives of 51 kidney transplant recipients.
During this historic transplant chain, several healthy participants have donated their own kidneys to unknown strangers in hopes to save lives.
UAB News reports, “The longest living-donor kidney transplant chain to take place at one institution — or anywhere on record — reached a new milestone Aug. 6-7 with transplant Nos. 49-51 taking place in UAB Hospital. The latest transplants mean 102 total surgeries have been performed since December 2013, with 51 nephrectomies and 51 transplants completed, giving people in dire need of a working kidney a new chance at life.”
The origin of the historic undertaking can be traced back to have been started by Helena, Alabama native Paula Kok.
In 2013, Alabama native Kok started a chain reaction. She decided to donate one of her kidneys to someone in need. Kok did not have a specific person she wanted to give to; she simply knew she wanted to give. The daughter of the woman who received Kok’s kidney gave to a recipient in Mobile. That woman’s friend gave to another woman. The chain continued to grow.
Kok states that her decision to donate was simply her obedience to God.
“I prayed about it and called UAB to tell them I had a kidney I was willing to give up. All I did was obey God and leave the consequences up to him. He is the ultimate physician.”
WRBL.com reports that the transplant chain has involved people from 11 states — Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
Interested in helping the kidney donation chain grow? Please visit these links below.