Thursday, November 1, 2012

Operation Live

Transplant surgeon Mirza Idu, nephrologist Frederike Bemelman and Dink Legemate, another transplant surgeon. On the right TV presenter Charles Groenhuijsen.
Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of the kidney transplant, and -- amazingly -- there was a program on Dutch TV last night called "Operation Live" that featured a live kidney transplant. Non-Dutch speakers won't be able to make much of the dialogue, but the operation itself is breathtaking. It was performed last night at the same Amsterdam hospital that we went to (the AMC), and by the same surgeon who did our operation, Dr. Mirza Idu. At a certain point in the discussion one of the doctors in the studio says that removing a live kidney from the donor is considered "top sport" in surgery, and that Dr. Idu is their "top athlete". Nice to know this! When Dr. Idu is interviewed he says he has performed 600 kidney removals and 400 transplants in his career.

The entire operation takes five hours, and this program is only an hour and a half long, so the part they show is part 2, the actual transplant. By this time the donor is in the recovery room and doing nicely.

The donor and recipient are two women, both named Mariane, who have been lifelong friends.

Also during the program is a short interview with Jacintha Jenniskens, the AMC transplant psychologist who interviewed me during the screening process. She talks about the book that was recently published by the Kidney Foundation that features 20 double portraits of live kidney donations. Jim and I are one of the portraits.


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