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Division of Transplant Surgery

Dr. Kam leads liver team in Colorado's first
double-lung-and-liver transplant

Dr. Kam on CBS-4 News

On March 10, a team of surgeons from our department performed a complex operation on Sean McCabe, a 30-year-old man from Nebraska who was dying from cystic fibrosis. Sean received two new lungs and a new liver—the first such operation ever performed in the state of Colorado.

Dr. Igal Kam headed the liver team for the operation, collaborating with Dr. Michael Weyant of the Cardiothoracic Division, who led the lung team. Watch the CBS-4 news story on our website.

(March 2015)

Local donor mom represents Colorado in Rose Parade

Amy Johnson

Amy Johnson lost her teenage daughter, Nicole Scott, in a car accident in 2001. Because she authorized the donation of her daughter's organs, three people's lives were saved, and many more lives have been touched.

Today, Amy is an advocate for Donate Life Colorado. She was recently at University of Colorado Hospital, handing out roses to patients. Then, on New Year's Day 2015, Amy represented Colorado aboard the Donate Life float in the Rose Parade in California. To learn more, watch the video on the Denver Channel. (A brief advertisement will play before the video). You can also watch a related video from CBS4 News.

(December 2014)

Husband's donation saves Denver woman

Jack and Ruth Cohen

Ruth Cohen of Greenwood Village had a great life: a loving husband, a career she enjoyed, and two happy children. Then came the first troubling symptoms of a liver disease that would sap more and more of her strength. Eventually, Ruth had to quit her job, and her customary neighborhood walks with her husband could only be completed with the aid of a wheelchair.

Ruth got on a transplant list, but the wait was long, and her doctor warned her that she might die before she got a transplant. That was when her husband Jack made the courageous decision to have the right lobe of his liver removed and transplanted to his wife.

Jack and Ruth's operations took place here at University of Colorado Hospital. To learn the rest of their story, watch the video on the Fox31 Denver website. (A brief advertisement will play before the video.)

(August 2014)

Dr. Nydam receives ASTS research grant

Trevor Nydam, MD

Trevor Nydam, MD, of the Division of Transplant Surgery, has been awarded the 2014 ASTS–Astellas Faculty Development Grant from the American Society of Transplant Surgeons. The grant will allow Dr. Nydam to pursue a promising line of research in kidney transplantation. The inspiration for Dr. Nydam's study comes from a surprising source: the study of hibernating ground squirrels. Learn more.

(August 2014)

Kidney donation network helps patients move up transplant list

Kidney donation network helps patients move up transplant list

If the walls of University of Colorado Hospital could talk, they would tell many stories of courageous individuals who donated one of their kidneys to a parent, spouse, or other loved one who would otherwise have faced a long wait for a transplant. But what happens when the would-be donor is unable to help his/her loved one because of organ incompatibility?

The National Kidney Registry now offers a database that allows “mismatched pairs” to find one another. For example, one of our patients recently donated a kidney to a stranger in Seattle, facilitating an exchange that allowed her mother to receive a kidney transplant from a patient in Georgia. As a result of the matching program, two lives were saved. Read more on the Fox 31 news website.

(July 2014)

New transplant surgeon broadens department’s expertise

Dr. Peter Kennealey

The Division of Transplant Surgery is pleased to welcome Dr. Peter Kennealey to our faculty.

Dr. Kennealey completed his fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard Medical School in 2009, then moved to Colorado to work at Porter Adventist Hospital, where he served as surgical director of kidney transplantation. This May, he joined our faculty at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Dr. Kennealey's addition to our team is especially welcome because of his expertise in vascular access surgery, a procedure that prepares patients for dialysis and kidney transplantation. Read more in UCHealth Central Insider.

(July 2014)

Donor Dash 2014 breaks records

Donor Dash 2014

The UCH team prepares to run in the Donor Dash.  Enlarge photo

Nearly 5,300 people—including 149 from University of Colorado Hospital—turned out at Denver's Washington Park July 20 for the Donor Dash. Both totals were the largest in the 15-year history of the 5k event, said UCH Marketing Strategist Heather Hogoboom.

The hospital was a presenting sponsor with Donor Alliance, the organ procurement organization for Colorado and Wyoming. The event honored the lives of donors and celebrated the lives of recipients. It also raised awareness of the many people waiting for an organ transplant.

See MORE photos from the event on the Donate Life Colorado Facebook page.

(July 2014)

Denver woman gives liver, saves mom, finds career

Linsey Pratt, PA (click to read her story)

Lindsay Pratt was a young pharmaceutical sales rep working in Denver when her mother was diagnosed with end-stage liver disease. When Lindsay offered to donate a portion of her own liver for transplant, her mother originally resisted — "I felt like I had lived my life," she recalls, "and I didn't want to put [my daughter] in danger." But Lindsay pleaded with her as the disease progressed, and her mother eventually accepted.

Dr. Igal Kam operated on Lindsay, and Dr. Michael Wachs operated on her mother. Not only did the transplant save the mother's life, it also inspired Lindsay to find a new career direction. Today, she works as a physician assistant in the hepatology clinic at University of Colorado Hospital. Read more in UCHealth Central Insider.

(July 2014)

Daughter gives gift of life to father

Video: Daughter donates kidney to save her father

As a teenager, Gary was involved in a car accident that caused him lifelong problems with his kidneys. Nearly fifty years later, he found himself placed on a transplant list with kidney failure.

When his daughter Lena found out, she immediately got tested as a potential match and discovered that she could donate a kidney to save her father's life. Their operations took place here at University Hospital. For the rest of the story, watch the video on the Fox 31 website.

(June 2014)

Stranger donates kidney to save Loveland woman’s life

Video: Kidney transplant saves Loveland woman

For months, Gary McCormack wore the same sweatshirt everywhere he went. The sweatshirt read simply, "KIDNEY NEEDED. SAVE A LIFE. PLEASE CALL 970-667-7841."

Gary's wife Phyllis had polycystic kidney disease. Without a transplant from a matching donor, she would die. Gary was not eligible to donate the needed kidney himself, but his efforts set in motion a series of events that culminated in a successful kidney transplant for Phyllis here at University of Colorado Hospital.

To learn more about Phyllis, her husband, and the complete stranger who saved her life by donating a kidney, watch the video on the 9News website. (A brief commercial will play before the video starts.)

(June 2014)

Television program celebrates organ donation, highlights needs

Watch the show on the CPT12 website

A recent hour-long program on Colorado Public Television entitled Second Chance at Life explores the need for organ donation in our state today.

Guests on the show include UCH transplant coordinator Tracy Steinberg and several grateful individuals who received organ transplants at University of Colorado Hospital. You can watch the show for free (and commercial-free) on the Colorado Public Television 12 website.

(March 2014)