The UK Transplant Center specializes in the transplantation of all major solid organs, including the heart, lung, kidney, pancreas and liver. The UK Markey Cancer Center performs bone marrow transplants.
The UK Transplant Center has been providing transplantation services by highly qualified transplantation teams since 1964, now performing more than 130 transplants each year. Our physicians are dedicated and highly trained in each of the organ transplants. We offer patients comprehensive, compassionate care throughout the transplant process.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 9, 2013) — The University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital was among a select group of hospitals nationwide recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for reaching gold, silver, and bronze levels of outreach for organ donation and registration.
UK Chandler Hospital conducted awareness and registry campaigns to educate staff, patients, visitors, and community members about the critical need for organ, eye, and tissue donors and, by doing so, increased the number of potential donors on the state’s donor registry. The hospital earned points for each activity planned between September 2012 and May 2013 and won gold recognition through the Workplace Partnership for Life Hospital Campaign, a program launched in 2011 by HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
This campaign is a special effort of HRSA’s Workplace Partnership for Life to mobilize the nation’s hospitals to increase the number of people in the country who are registered organ, eye, and tissue donors. The campaign unites donation advocates at hospitals with representatives from their organ procurement organizations (OPOs), Donate Life America (DLA) affiliates, and state and regional hospital associations.
Working together, the teams leverage their communications resources and outreach efforts to most effectively spread word of the critical need for donors. UK Chandler Hospital worked with Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) on the campaign.
"As one of only three transplant centers in the state, we do everything we can to educate Kentuckians about how organ and tissue donation saves and improves lives in our community, around Kentucky and across the nation," said Dr. Andrew Bernard, UK's director of trauma and acute care surgery and the chair of the Donation and Transplantation Action Council. "We're honored to receive this award for that work, which wouldn't have been possible without the tireless efforts of our friends at KODA."
“It is my privilege to partner with UK Chandler Hospital in promoting organ and tissue donation,” said Donna Slone, KODA client services coordinator at UK. “From the top leadership, down, UK HealthCare has demonstrated a profound commitment to save and enhance lives through donation and transplantation while maintaining a profound respect for the families and individuals who provide these gifts of life.”
Of the 924 hospitals and transplant centers participating in the campaign, 322 were awarded recognition. See a full list of hospitals recognized here.
To date, the campaign has registered a total of 221,834 donors nationally.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 14, 2013) — In collaboration with the American Heart Association's "My Heart. My Life." program, the University of Kentucky Transplant Center will host a presentation by Derek Fitzgerald, a Pennsylvania transplant patient with an inspiring story to share.
In 2003 at age 30, Fitzgerald was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. After undergoing multiple rounds of chemotherapy to defeat the cancer, he developed heart failure due to the medication that initially saved his life. On Jan. 3, 2011, Derek received a heart transplant at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia.
Ten months post-transplant, he ran a half-marathon. In 2012, he competed in 17 endurance races, including marathons, half-marathons and triathlons. This past year, he competed in an IRONMAN competition at Lake Placid, New York, completing a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run.
Fitzgerald will be speaking about his experiences on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 2:30 p.m. in the Pavilion A auditorium in UK Chandler Hospital. All UK HealthCare staff and patients are invited to come listen to Fitzgerald discuss his incredible, inspirational journey.
For more information, contact Donna Dennis at (859) 323-4938 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 23, 2013) — Forty years ago, Perry County native Jim Halcomb received the gift of life – in the form of a new kidney – from an anonymous organ donor.
Halcomb, who was only 20 years old at the time, suffered from severe kidney disease and required dialysis three times a week, eight hours at a time. After his transplant at UK, his health improved, and he moved on with his life, serving as a police officer for more than 25 years.
Because of the rules and regulations surrounding organ donation at the time of his transplant, he never knew that he could contact the family of his organ donor to express his appreciation. But that changed last month, when Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) and UK HealthCare facilitated communications between Halcomb and his donor’s family.
With the encouragement of Donna Slone, the client services coordinator for KODA at UK HealthCare, Halcomb wrote the donor family a letter, thanking them all for their sacrifice.
“It was very difficult to write,” Halcomb said. “A lot of emotions, a lot of time had passed. But Donna just said, ‘Speak from the heart.’”
On Saturday, Halcomb was one of several featured speakers at UK HealthCare and KODA’s annual Gift of Life Memorial Celebration in UK Chandler Hospital Pavilion A. Representing those who have received the gift of life, Halcomb read his letter out loud.
“I’m a very private person, and I used to never speak about my transplant because I didn’t want special attention or favors,” said Halcomb, who participated in a “Body Mapping” workshop with other transplant recipients earlier this year and inspired him to start sharing his story. “A year ago, I couldn’t have done it. But it means the world to me to be able to read the letter this year.”
UK HealthCare and KODA first unveiled the memorial wall last year, with 240 individuals honored and more than 500 donor family members and guests in attendance for the inaugural celebration. Moving forward, the wall will be updated each year to honor both new donors and those who donated in years past.
“Creating a lasting tribute to those who have given hope and new life through donation has been a dream of UK and KODA for many years,” said Slone. “There have been nearly 1,000 donors at UK since transplantation began here in 1964. Some have chosen to remain anonymous, but we hope other families of UK donors that we did not reach this year will see the Gift of Life wall and allow us to add those names in the future.”
This year, the names of 40 individuals who provided the gift of life through organ and tissue donation were read aloud during the official ceremony and unveiled on the Gift of Life wall, located inside Pavilion A adjacent to the Gill Heart Institute.
Tricia Ricketts, whose 25-year-old son Ryan was an organ donor in 2008, spoke on behalf of the organ donor families.
“It helps me to be able to speak about Ryan and share his history,” Ricketts said. “It helps me keep his memory alive.”
The ceremony also featured a vocal performance by KODA Client Services Coordinator Diana Thacker, as well as remarks from UK HealthCare's Chief Administrative Officer Ann Smith and Dr. Andrew Bernard, UK's director of trauma and acute care surgery. Bernard, also the chair of the Donation and Transplantation Action Council, emphasized the importance of organ donation in Kentucky and beyond.
“UK HealthCare is both a major trauma center and a transplant center, so we see each day how donation and transplantation touch the lives of fellow Kentuckians in very remarkable ways,” Bernard said. “Each donor family’s generosity and their loved one’s gifts are represented in the more than 28,000 lives saved each year in the United States through transplantation.”
Every year, an estimated 6,000 people die while waiting for an organ transplant. More than 119,000 Americans are currently waiting for donated organs, including 900 people in Kentucky. Their names are on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) waiting list. The level of necessity, blood type, and size are among several criteria that determine who can receive a donated organ. One individual donor can provide organs and tissue for nearly 50 people in need.
Ricketts, who was unable to attend the memorial service last year due to illness, got to see her son’s name immortalized on the wall this weekend. She has met two of her son’s organ recipients – a kidney patient and a double-lung patient, and says she considers them part of her family now. As a member of the Family Counsel for KODA, she makes it her duty to speak and spread the word about organ donation and KODA when she can.
“I think KODA is a top-notch organization – you see so much compassion and professionalism, and they are so supportive,” Ricketts said. “And I think this donor wall at UK is really something special.”
Although hospitals are obligated by law to identify potential donors and allow the organ donor procurement program to inform families of their right to donate, anyone can sign up to become an organ donor by joining the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry. The registry is a safe and secure electronic database where a person’s wishes regarding donation will be carried out as requested.
To join the registry, visit www.donatelifeky.org or sign up when you renew your driver’s license. The donor registry enables family members to know that you chose to save and enhance lives through donation. Kentucky’s “First Person Consent” laws mean that the wishes of an individual on the registry will be carried out as requested.
If your loved one was an organ donor at UK Chandler Hospital and you would like to have him or her honored on the Gift of Life wall in the future, contact Donna Slone at (859) 323-7343 or email@example.com.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 9, 2013) – After 34 years of teaching, many schoolteachers would be ready to retire or move on to new things.
Not David Morrow. The 57-year-old science and language arts teacher at East Washington Middle School in Pekin, Ind., is now in his 35th year of teaching and still going strong.
That alone is impressive enough. Even more impressive? The fact that Morrow is back in his classroom today after undergoing a combined heart and kidney transplant at UK Chandler Hospital last November.
But for those who know Morrow best, his determination comes as no surprise.
“He’s probably one of the most stubborn men you’ll ever meet,” said Linda Leudeman, former principal at EWMS who has known David for nearly 15 years. “Which is probably a big reason why he’s here today, because he did not give up.”
Morrow’s health troubles had been going on for some time. Six years ago, he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and received an internal cardiodefibrillator (ICD). Then his kidneys began to shut down, and Morrow began receiving dialysis under the care of Dr. Jayakrishnakamal Konijeti of Nephrology Associates of Kentuckiana (NAK).
However, despite these measures, his health continued to deteriorate. Morrow’s NAK doctors then referred him for a kidney transplant. After an initial meeting with the transplant team at UK’s Transplant and Specialty Clinic at Norton Audubon Hospital in Louisville, David met with Dr. Navin Rajagopalan, UK’s medical director of cardiac transplantation, and got some surprising news.
“He said, we can’t just give you a kidney by itself, because we don’t think that is the major issue, we think it’s your heart,” Morrow said. “So he said, what we can do is a heart and a kidney transplant.”
End-stage kidney disease is a contraindication for a heart transplant – if the kidneys are not working, it puts a much greater strain on the heart, and a patient in this condition who receives a heart transplant will face a tough road to recovery – and will likely end up with the same heart failure as before.
However, for patients who have both heart and kidney failure, combined dual-organ transplants offer a better chance for survival. Because of the amount of resources and expertise required for the procedure, the combined transplants are not very common, according to Rajagopalan.
“A lot of centers don’t consider patients for dual-organ transplant, and there are not many heart/kidney transplants performed each year,” Rajagopalan said. “But David was the perfect individual for a combined heart/kidney transplant. He is diabetic, but otherwise reasonably healthy. And he was very motivated.”
Konijeti, who also serves as chief of staff at Floyd Memorial Hospital in New Albany, In., says Morrow was referred to UK because of the complexity of his case.
“We knew there was going to be issues because of his heart failure,” Konijeti said. “So it wasn’t just a matter of getting a kidney, because the new kidney would have the same problem. We needed to send him to a place that had the appropriate expertise and experience to be able to evaluate him from both a combined heart and kidney transplant.”
Initially, Morrow said he had reservations about undergoing such a major procedure.
“I wasn’t too worried about the kidney – I knew I could live without that, going on dialysis, but when he said the heart transplant, I had to think,” Morrow said. “But I just kept getting worse and worse, and I told my wife, ‘I’m not going on like this, I’m doing to do something about it.’”
Morrow began the process of evaluation for transplant. He underwent rounds of testing, and throughout the spring of 2012, was in and out of the hospital with a variety of problems. Then, two weeks before the school year was up, Rajagopalan told Morrow he needed to be admitted to the hospital – and this time, he would be staying indefinitely.
Always thinking of his students, Morrow protested at first. He only had two weeks left – he needed to wrap up the school year, get his final grades posted.
“So we bought a laptop computer, and I was down there at UK punching grades in,” Morrow said. “But by the end of school, I was ready to go. I was leaning against the wall, out of breath, not able to walk 30-40 feet.”
Morrow was admitted to UK Chandler Hospital on May 31, 2012. However, his heart failure continued to worsen and he became weaker and weaker. He had to be taken off the transplant list, as he was too weak to survive such a major operation should the organs even become available.
“My heart kept deteriorating,” Morrow said. “I was probably at UK for about 2-3 weeks, and I was sitting in bed with one of the ICU nurses one day and she shouted ‘We have a V-tach!’ I looked around and said, ‘Who is it?’ and she said, ‘it’s you.’”
Morrow was so sick, he required “double bridge” to transplant – he first received extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment to stabilize his condition. Then, he received both a right and left ventricular assist device (known as a BVAD) to perform the work of his failing heart. With the assistance of these technologies – and the constant support of his friends, family, and medical team – his health began to improve. He got up out of bed and walked laps around the ICU to gain back his strength. He became strong enough to get reactivated on the transplant list.
Morrow’s quick recovery and improvements following the BVAD surgery even surprised his doctors.
“I was actually on vacation and I got an email that he’d been reactivated,” Rajagopalan said. “I said, already? And my Transplant Coordinator Donna Dennis said, yeah, he looks great. He’s walking, taking laps around the ICU. He’s ready to be listed.”
And as his cardiac health improved, his kidneys even began functioning on their own.
“I improved so much my kidneys started working again,” Morrow said. “I didn’t have to do dialysis, which was great. That was a plus, and that kind of encouraged me and lifted my spirits.”
His health had improved drastically, but the BVAD required that Morrow remain in the hospital until his transplant. And although his kidney function had improved, they remained marginal and he still needed a new kidney along with the heart. After getting reactivated on the transplant list, all that was left for him to do was wait.
It took more than five months. But on Nov. 5, 2012, Morrow got the news he’d been waiting for. Led by UK transplant surgeons Dr. Charles Hoopes and Dr. Roberto Gedaly, Morrow underwent surgery to receive his new heart and kidney. A month later, he went home – just in time for the holidays.
Over the next few months, Morrow came back to the hospital a few times to address some minor complications from surgery. But after a few bumps in the road to recovery, he continued to grow stronger and healthier. He made plans to go back to the job he loved.
While some of Morrow’s colleagues were shocked to see him returning to the classroom so quickly, Leudeman – who visited Morrow several times during his stay at UK – said she wasn’t surprised at his determination to come back.
“He always said he wanted to come back, and I tried to talk to him about that,” Leudeman said. “But he knew he wanted to be here with the kids. That was his priority. That was his focus.”
A patient’s attitude plays a critical role both pre- and post-surgery, says Rajagopalan, and Morrow’s resolve only reinforced why he was the perfect candidate for the dual-organ transplant in the first place.
“The way I look at it, David was teaching even while he was on dialysis and had a weak heart, so why shouldn’t he teach now?” Rajagopalan said. “The fact that he continued to teach school while on dialysis really showed how dedicated and motivated he was, so we knew he would be an excellent transplant candidate. Donors rely on us to make sure their gift will be well taken care of. Patients need to be medically good candidates, but also good candidates that will take care of their organs. And we knew that was the case with David.”
Morrow officially started back at EWMS in August. He continues to receive follow-up care close to home from both his physicians at NAK and Rajagopalan at the UK Transplant Clinic in Louisville. And as he embarks on his 35th year of teaching, he says he’s glad to be back – and plans to be back for some time to come.
“It gives me purpose, I guess you might say,” Morrow said. “I enjoy it. A lot of these children come in, and their parents were in my classroom. I told them, when they start getting the grandchildren in here, then I believe it’s time for me to step down.”
An average of 18 people die every day in the U.S. waiting for an organ transplant and more than 113,000 men, women and children are on the national waiting list. A new name is added to the waiting list every 11 minutes.
The best way to honor those who gave the ultimate gift of life and to celebrate the new life of transplant recipients is to register on the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry. The registry is a safe and secure electronic database where a person’s wishes regarding donation will be carried out as requested.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 15, 2013) — UK HealthCare will present its fifth annual "Women, It’s About You" conference Saturday, June 1, 2013, from 7 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. at Embassy Suites in Lexington.
The conference is designed to educate women with the most up-to-date health care information in a fun, relaxed setting. This year's conference will feature 15 presentations on the following women's health topics. Participants may attend any three presentations of their choice.
· Menopause, presented by Dr. Kathy Dillon
· Memory and aging, presented by Dr. Gregory Jicha
· Women's heart health, presented by Dr. Susan Smyth
· Eye health, presented by Dr. Eric Higgins
· Physical fitness, presented by Richard Watson
· Gynecologic cancer, presented by Dr. Lauren Baldwin
· Financial abuse of women, presented by Susan Lawrence
· Weight loss, presented by Dr. Stephanie Rose
· Skin care and cosmetic procedures, presented by Dr. Amit Patel
· Stroke, presented by Lisa Bellamy
· Diabetes, presented by Sheri Legg and Beth Holden
· Nutrition, presented by Rachel Miller
· Mammography, presented by Dr. Margaret Szabunio
· Pelvic Prolapse, presented by Drs. Rudy Tovar and Mark Hoffman
Participants will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of health screenings, including blood pressure and stroke risk assessment, visual acuity, facial skin analysis, and more. The event also includes a continental breakfast, a delicious luncheon with entertainment, giveaways and an exhibitor fair featuring a variety of products and services for women from businesses and organizations throughout Central Kentucky.
The cost for this event is $10 and the deadline to register is Friday, May 17. Register online today.
You can save a life with a living donor kidney transplant.
View the living kidney donation brochure (1.9 Mb PDF).
New License Plate Promotes Organ Donation
Help Louisville’s Second Chance at Life organization get a donor awareness license plate in Kentucky. 900 signed forms are required from Kentuckians who will commit to buying the plates.
Download application form for a license plate to support organ donation awareness. (PDF, 97 KB)
More than 600 Kentuckians are currently awaiting a life-saving organ transplant. A single donor may benefit up to 50 people by donating organs as well as tissues. Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates and other members of the Donate Life Kentucky Coalition ask you to register today.
Visit Donate Life Kentucky to register as an organ donor or print and fill out this form. (PDF, 124 KB)
UK Transplant Center created the Organ Failure and Transplantation Network with the goal of working with local physicians to provide the latest advancements in the treatment of end stage kidney failure. Learn more >
If you are a health care provider and would like to refer a patient to the UK HealthCare Transplant Center, please call one of the numbers below or refer a patient using the fax referral forms below. As a referring health care provider, you are a crucial resource for patients who might need organ transplantation. We strive to facilitate your referral of patients to the UK HealthCare Transplant Center and will communicate with you about the status of the patients you entrust to our care during all of the transplantation phases.
Kidney and pancreas referralsToll-free: 1-866-474-6544 Local: 859-323-6544View kidney/pancreas fax referral form (PDF, 147 Kb)Liver referralsToll-free: 1-888-808-3212 Local: 859-323-8500View liver fax referral form (PDF, 151 Kb)Heart and lung referralsToll-free: 1-800-456-5287 Local: 859-323-4620View heart transplant referral form (PDF, 116 Kb)View lung transplant referral form (PDF, 116 Kb)
View our transplant clinical research information or transplant patient volumes online.
Appointments and information:859-323-1691 or 1-866-285-4337 toll freeFax: 859-323-1700E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgUK Transplant Center:UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital 4th floor, room C416800 Rose StreetLexington, KY 40536-0293Directions >
UK Transplant & Specialty Clinic*Medical Plaza East3 Audubon Plaza Drive, Suite 150Louisville, KY 40217Directions » *University of Kentucky Hospital clinic
Tri-State Gastroenterology Associates425 Centre View Blvd. Crestview Hills, KY 41017Directions »
Charles Hoopes, MD, Heart & Lung Transplantation Director (PDF 134 KB)
Donating a kidney doesn't appear to have any long-term health consequences for the donor, a reassuring study shows. >
Zack received the first Total Artificial Heart in Kentucky. Read about this and other patient stories.>
“I was at the end of my rope. It’s a blessing to know that the donor’s family, through their pain, found a reason to let me live.”– Amelia Brown, PatientRead Amelia's story > (1.2MB PDF)
Hear a short message about organ donation
Read a transcript of the message about organ donation
800-333-8874 (toll free)
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