I was able to speak with Steve Baumgartner directly about his kidney donation, and I was so fascinated with what he did and its impact, I am doing another blog post on this topic. Basically, he decided to do something nice by donating a kidney, and his plan was to let Piedmont Hospital choose the recipient. Shortly before he was set to go in to have his kidney removed, he found out about the paired-exchange organization created by a doctor in Toledo, which would enable Steve’s kidney donation to be used to help create a daisy chain of kidneys going from voluntary donors to others in need throughout the world. In Steve’s case, his kidney went to an individual in need in the Philippines and the others in the chain went to Americans.
It is a fascinating story that is better explained in two NBC TV segments done in Toledo, which can be seen here:
This paired-exchange strategy could end up being a game changer to significantly increase the number of available kidneys (and possibly other organs in the future), available for transplant to save a huge number of lives and improve the quality of life for those in need of a transplant.
Richard M. Morgan