Please Explain: Organ Transplants

Friday, April 10, 2009

The lives of more than 100,000 patients in the U.S. depend on finding an organ to replace a damaged or diseased one. Only a fraction of people who need a new kidney, liver, or heart actually receive one, but the procedure saves thousands of lives every year. We’ll be joined by Dr. Jean Emond, Thomas S. Zimmer Professor of Surgery and Director of Transplantation at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and by Susan Senk who received a heart transplant in 2007.

Find out more about organ donation in New York at and at


Dr. Jean Emond and Susan Senk

Comments [20]

Matt from NJ

I am on the heart transplant list, at Columbia Presbysterian Medical Center and Dr. Farr is my transplant cadiologist. I have been waiting one year now for a match heart.

Apr. 10 2009 04:45 PM
Steve D

Thank you so very much for talking about organ transplantation. My life was saved by a liver and kidney transplant on June 1, 2006. I was one of the blessed ones. I was only listed for 5 days. My transplant was performed at Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven,CT. I am happy to tell you that I have returned to a fully functional life.

Apr. 10 2009 03:50 PM
CarolH from Babylon, NewYork

Thank you for talking about organ donation/transplantation. On March 17, 2008 I received a very happy (5 point match) and successful cadaveric kidney transplant, also from NY Columbia Presbyterian. I am very happy to have been given a second chance at life. More people should be informed about donation via driver license, donor card, informing your family of your wishes and even listing with an organ donor network. Your program definately helped get that point across.

Apr. 10 2009 02:21 PM
Michelle Par from NYC

I want to applaud the show for talking about organ donation. It's really not discussed enough in today's culture and media. My mother, a 68-year old Korean woman, had a single lung transplant a year ago and, although there were many complications in her case, she is doing well now. She had a lot of cultural and personal issues with the idea of transplantation, but when all was said and done, she wanted to live.

Apr. 10 2009 02:00 PM
Christopher Reardon from Montpelier, Vermont

A caller just mentioned the new novel "Irreplaceable" by Stephen Lovely. Here's a link here so listeners can find it.

It's a compelling and original tale predicated on a heart transplant, but what really stands out is the emotional acuity--the way the author plumbs the mixed sentiments of the various figures affected by this awful and generous act.

Apr. 10 2009 01:59 PM
Fred from Brooklyn

Ah! I have to tell this story... it's a funny organ donor story.

My old Florida Drivers License used to say "Organ Donor" under my signature. At some sort of official office in Croatia, I don't remember what it was, but it was official something or other, I had to give an ID and then wait for my name to be called. After waiting a while, I noticed the women working at the desk pick up my ID, look around the room and a call out, in a rough Croatian accent... (wait for it...) "Donor?.. Organ Donor!"


Apr. 10 2009 01:57 PM

If a young woman is a donor can she donate say her breasts? So that it can be used to help breast cancer survivors?

Apr. 10 2009 01:57 PM

are children automatic matches for their parents? especially for kidney transplants?

Apr. 10 2009 01:56 PM
Vincent from NYC

If the body rejects the donated/transplated organ, can the transplanted organ be used again with another person?

Apr. 10 2009 01:56 PM
John from South Amboy, NJ

Similar question as above. Will genetic research offer potential for regenerating organ tissue?

Apr. 10 2009 01:54 PM
RWrite from Manhattan

Is it true that the skin (or other stuff) is used for cosmetic surgery?
That's grisly!

Apr. 10 2009 01:53 PM

I used to donate blood frequently and often found that I was the only person of color in the room. Is is also rare for people of color to donate organs? Do we know why that is?

Apr. 10 2009 01:53 PM

How is the science on creating or cloning organs? Can that work? What is meant by compatiblility of organ. Why would the body reject and organ?

Apr. 10 2009 01:53 PM
Shannon Kelly from Yonkers, NY

For all organ transplant recipients, consider competing in the Transplant Games in Madison, WI in July 2010.

It's incredible to see lung recipients competing in swimming, and little kids running in track and field. Lots of incredible people with incredible stories.

(I received a heart at NY Presbyterian 3 years ago, and my mother received a heart 14 years ago in Virginia. We are both well, and very grateful to our donor families.)

Apr. 10 2009 01:52 PM
maggiie from nj

someone just mentioned that family & friends should know so the hospital will not resuscitate.
Yikes, I'm registered as a donor, but I'd sure like to be resuscitated if possible. Is that ruled out?

Apr. 10 2009 01:50 PM
Liza from New York, NY

This spring is the 10th Anniversary of my bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor. I am forever grateful, every day, to my donor who elected to register himself as donor.

A bone marrow transplant is a live donation that is not captured in the donor check on a license and you can learn more here:

Apr. 10 2009 01:50 PM
Adam from Westchester

What do you think holds people back from being willing to donate their organs more frequently? What do you find are the most common reasons?
What's the best way to change this current--

Apr. 10 2009 01:48 PM
antonio from park slope

Will stem cell research ever play a role in this research?

Apr. 10 2009 01:45 PM
Steve from Westchester, NY

Is checking off a box on your driver's license the only way to donate one's organs?

Apr. 10 2009 01:40 PM
Jorge Boetto from Brooklyn

I received a Kidney from my sister on 2003, we were a 5 out of 6 match (almost identical). Is there a chance on the future for me to stop taking anti-rejection drugs since we are such a close match or at least reduce the dosages?

The medications have caused me very low platlets.

Apr. 10 2009 01:39 PM

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