How long will a transplanted kidney last?

Transplant science is making progress year after year, but one thing that does give me pause when I contemplate receiving a transplanted kidney is the awareness that a transplant will eventually fail. The worst case scenario is that the transplant fails immediately, which, although rare, does happen. Sometimes a transplanted kidney lives for quite a long time, but a long time does not usually mean more than 20 years, and even that period of time is usually only in the case of a kidney from a living donor.

It therefore came as a bit of a surprise, and gave me not a little more hope, when I came across this article about a man who received a kidney from a deceased donor that has lasted 40 years!

Here’s the article, from CTV News Winnipeg.

Kidney transplant recipient celebrates 40 years since donation

By sharing his story, Perras and the Kidney Foundation of Canada hope to encourage more people to sign up to be an organ donor.

By sharing his story, Perras and the Kidney Foundation of Canada hope to encourage more people to sign up to be an organ donor.

Cameron MacLean, CTV Winnipeg
Published Thursday, May 26, 2016 1:40PM CST

Adrien Perras has beaten the odds by surviving 40 years after receiving a kidney transplant in 1976.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada said the average lifespan for a kidney transplant is 25 years. Only one per cent of transplant patients live as long as Perras.

At 21, Perras was a university student when he started feeling lethargic all the time.

“I’d sit down to study and fall asleep for two hours,” he said.

Doctors at the Health Sciences Centre ran some tests and booked an appointment a few days later. Perras missed the appointment, and a few hours later received a call, telling him to get down to the hospital immediately.

Doctors told him his kidneys were “shot,” Perras said. When he got the news, Perras said he almost couldn’t believe it.

“You almost want to call BS on it,” he said.

Perras chokes up when he recounts telling his mother about the diagnosis.

“That was tough, cause I was her oldest son and she just had so many hopes for (me).”

A kidney donor couldn’t be found immediately, so Perras started preparing to go on dialysis while his name was put on a waiting list. However, only a few days before he was set to start dialysis, Perras got the call that a donor had been found.

“It just blew me away,” he said. “Fortunate doesn’t come into it. It’s almost miraculous, let’s use that word.”

Click here to read the rest of the article.

 

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