I did a quick search recently and found several interesting videos (meaning non-medical) related to kidney transplants. A few are described in today’s blog post.

The most in-depth is an hour-long documentary entitled “Triple Kidney Transplant.” It describes the amazingly complex work done at Johns Hopkins Hospital to complete a three-way kidney exchange. The incompatible pairs consisted of a daughter donating on behalf of her father, and two other women donating on behalf of their husbands. All three men have high levels of HLA antibodies which makes it hard for them to find compatible donors. Two of the men are over 50 and have comorbidities that make them unable to meet the standard criteria for a being a transplant recipient. The story has a surprising ending that illustrates how difficult it is to control the outcomes of high-risk transplant surgery. The video is part of a series that airs on the Discovery Channel called “Surgery Saved My Life.”


3-way kidney swap at Johns Hopkins. Video still from Discovery Channel

For those of you with shorter attention spans, there is an excellent series of seven video blogs filmed by a kidney recipient in Seattle named Damon Danieli who found a donor using the Matching Donors website. He does an excellent job of describing the dialysis process (2 videos), his surgery, his system for adhering to his immunosuppressant routine, and interviews Sara Denis, his donor (2 videos). Mr. Danieli was also a participant in the World Transplant Games in 2009. In addition to his videos, you can read about his experience on his blog.


Mr. Danieli two days after his transplant and feeling good. Video from Damon Danieli

I highly recommend watching Decision to Donate, an inspiring documentary that describes the journey two couples make when one of the husbands, John Backus, realizes that his good friend Larry needs a kidney transplant. This wonderful 16-minute film won the Inspire Film Award at the Donate Life Hollywood Film Festival in 2009. It was produced by Massimo Backus, the donor’s son.


Recipient Larry on left. Video still from Decision to Donate

Finally, this news story from Boston.com also reports on a three-way kidney exchange, this one at Tufts Medical Center in Dec 2009. What makes this story so surprising is that one of the donors is Andrew Levey, the chief of nephrology at Tufts. Dr. Levey entered the exchange on behalf of his wife, Roberta Falke, an oncologist, who needed a transplant but the two were not blood type compatible.


3-way swap at Tufts. Video still from Boston.com