Smithfield Couple Part of Longest 'Kidney Swap' on Record | Sentara Healthcare
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Smithfield Couple Part of Longest 'Kidney Swap' on Record 

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First paired kidney exchange at Sentara Norfolk General part of 30-pair chain

Smithfield, VA (February 19, 2012) – Collin and Jacki Bruce knew they were making history. They just weren’t sure how much.

On December 6, 2011, Collin became the first living kidney donor at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital to participate in a ‘paired kidney exchange.’ His anonymous donation to the first compatible recipient on the not-for-profit National Kidney Registry allowed his wife, Jacki, to receive a kidney from a donor in yet another state the same day.

As it turned out, the Bruces were part of a record-setting chain of 30 such pairings that played out across the country over several months.

“I think it’s absolutely awesome,” says Jacki Bruce of the new record. “That there are chains this long is phenomenal.”

New York Times tells the story of the longest ‘kidney swap’ chain
The story of the longest chain is receiving front-page coverage in the New York Times on Sunday, February 19, 2012.

Jacki and Collin agreed to share their story to encourage other potential living kidney donors to register for the exchange.

“Getting the information out there moves people,” Jacki says. “So many people we talked to about our experience had no idea about kidney swaps.”

Since the Bruces’ story appeared locally, four potential living kidney donors have stepped forward to be evaluated at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital for participation in the National Kidney Registry.

In many cases of living kidney donations, family members and friends try to donate to a specific person. If none is compatible, the effort tends to stop there. Kidney exchanges offer the prospect of more matches in less time, potentially reducing a kidney recipient’s wait time from years to months.

Related Links:
Sentara Norfolk General Hospital
National Kidney Registry
New York Times

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