, IL — Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital's Renal Transplant Program completed its first living donor kidney transplant on June 16, 2022.
The 72-year-old U.S. Air Force Veteran received the living renal donation from a friend after waiting for a deceased donor for an extended time. Both are recovering from the successful procedure.
"Due to the lack of organs available for transplant, patients on the national transplant list often face long wait times, sometimes several years, before they are able to receive a transplant from a deceased donor," said Dr. Geraldine Zingraf, Transplant Program Administrator. "Patients who find a suitable living donor do not have to wait as long, sometimes as little as six months to complete required testing."
According to Zingraf, a living donor can be a loved one, acquaintance or anonymous and does not need to be a blood relative. The advantages of living kidney donations are:
• It adapts to a new body more quickly.
• It functions better overall.
• It can last three to five years longer.
Hines VA's Renal Transplant Program is the second VA medical facility to offer living donor transplants and one of only eight Department of Veterans Affairs transplant programs. The team has completed 62 transplants since implementing the program in late 2020, including 25 this year. Hines VA expects to complete six to eight living donor transplants annually.
Living kidney donations and the Hines VA's Renal Transplant Program are performed in collaboration with Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, a VA academic affiliate.
Everyone is encouraged to become a living donor and potentially save a life. To be evaluated, contact Loyola.donorscreen.org.
Learn more about VA's transplant programs at www.VA.gov/Health/Services/Transplant.
About Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital
Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital, located 12 miles west of downtown Chicago on a 147-acre campus, offers primary, extended and specialty care to veteran patients in the Chicago area. We are the largest VA in the state of Illinois, where more than a million veterans reside. The hospital treats more than 44,000 veterans from World War II through the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.