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DHR Health Transplant Institute providing hope to Valley residents

DHR Health Transplant Institute providing hope to Valley residents
4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago Friday, June 21 2024 Jun 21, 2024 June 21, 2024 12:05 AM June 21, 2024 in News - Local

Over 200 people in the Rio Grande Valley have had successful kidney transplants at DHR Health's Transplant Institute since it opened in 2017.

During the first year, the center only performed five transplants.

"[Now] they are doing about 50 transplants a year, which is excellent, and we are continuing to grow." DHR Health Vice President of transplant services Vanessa Lopez said. “Right now we are doing kidney transplants and pretty soon will be moving into liver transplants.”

The transplant center receives kidneys from across the nation, and obtained technology to help them preserve organs for longer periods of time. 

“That is a huge advancement because before we couldn't have the kidney out of the body for a very long period of time,” Lopez said.

Across the U.S., there are over 103 thousand people waiting on the national transplant list, according to the Health Resources and Service Administration.

Data shows 17 people die per day waiting on the list.

Lopez says there is a need for people in the Valley to sign up to become organ donors.

“Being an organ donor has a huge impact on somebody that is on the waiting list that doesn't have much longer to live, they are lifesavers,” Lopez said.

This week, Channel 5 News is teaming up with the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance to get people registered to become an organ donor. 

It's part of our effort to honor our former sports director, Dave Brown.

As a kidney transplant recipient, Dave was a strong advocate for organ donations.

Click here to register to become an organ donor.

Watch the video above for the full story.

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