Friday 22 March, 2019

QEH kidney transplant program saving lives

Martin and Glen Sobers shortly after the kidney transplant surgery.

Martin and Glen Sobers shortly after the kidney transplant surgery.

The kidney transplant program at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) continues to be a live-saver with two additional transplants successfully done last month.  

The program, which began just two years ago, has offered a new chance of life for patients with kidney failure and given two more families the chance of a normal life away from a kidney dialysis machine.  

Each operation is a live donor transplant where a healthy relative or friend has donated one of their kidneys to help a loved one with kidney failure. The kidney is removed from the donor through keyhole surgery, and is inserted into the relative or friend with kidney failure immediately after its removal.  

The project has been made possible through the collaboration between staff at the QEH and the British medical charity team, Transplant Links Community (TLC).  

TLC is a team of British specialists who travel to Barbados to transfer skills to the local team, with the goal of a sustainable programme in the next 5 years. The sponsorship of the Republic Bank Power to Make a Difference programme, the Elegant Hotel Chain and the Sir Peter Moore’s Barbados Trust have made the life-changing work a reality.

“It is hugely important in giving patients the chance to go back to work or school and live healthier and longer lives” said kidney specialist Dr Nerissa Jurawan. She trained with the TLC team in the UK and is now working alongside Dr Lisa Belle who initiated the sustainable programme together with surgeon Dr Margaret O’Shea. 

“Dialysis is expensive and is a difficult existence with at least two sessions of many hours needed per week” said Dr Belle.  “A transplant costs less than dialysis, and improves patients’ quality of life. There is an increasing problem of kidney failure in Barbados, and this is an important step in giving choice and hope patients who are suffering.” 

 

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