One of the amazing things that donors in the Living Donor Paired Exchange (LDPE) program do is to travel away from their home in order to donate one of their kidneys. The person named in this story, Shelley Vaughan, is one such person. She travelled from Edmonton, Alberta to Halifax, Nova Scotia, nearly 5000 km away, to donate a kidney to a stranger. In turn, her fiancé in Edmonton also received a kidney from a stranger.
The “yikes” part of this article has not to do with the surgery directly, but with the hospital conditions. I invite you to read the article. It certainly raises issues about funding for healthcare as well as the allocation of those funds.
If I may, though, I would like to highlight the kidney donation element of this article. First, this particular exchange illustrates the nationwide element of the LDPE program. A woman from Edmonton flew to Halifax to donate. Second, the operations went well, with Ms. Vaughan only required to stay in the hospital for four days, and in Halifax for an additional three days before she was free to fly back to Edmonton. As a result, there are two fewer people on dialysis, dramatically improving their quality of life. Although not stated explicitly, maintaining a person on dialysis is more costly to our healthcare systems than the cost of kidney transplant surgery and the ongoing costs of supporting a transplanted person. So, happily, there is some good news embedded within a rather shocking description of hospital conditions.
Here’s the article:
Shelley Vaughan had 4-day stay at VG in November as part of living donor paired exchange program
By Jean Laroche, CBC News Posted: Jan 19, 2016 6:00 AM AT Last Updated: Jan 19, 2016 9:12 AM AT
When Shelley Vaughan flew from Edmonton to Halifax in November to donate one of her kidneys to a stranger, she felt nervous about having an operation in a strange city, far away from family, friends and her sick fiancé.
Her apprehension was heightened by the fact her fiancé, Harley Wilkes, was having a stranger’s kidney transplanted into his body around the same time back in Edmonton.
The two operations were part of the Canadian Blood Services’s living donor paired exchange program.
Although both operations went well, instead of feeling relieved and happy, Vaughan admits she remains bitter about her “nightmare” stay at the Victoria General hospital.
Click here to read the rest of the article.