April 29, 2020
April is Donate Life Month, a time to encourage people to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to honor those who have saved lives through donation. During the COVID-19 crisis, Methodist Hospital | Specialty and Transplant has continued providing life-prolonging organ transplants for our patients. Between April 1-26, our dedicated transplant teams performed 23 kidney and liver transplants.
Rosalinda Barrera was one of the living kidney donors who stepped up to donate her kidney to her friend. The pair met at church five years ago. Rosalinda wanted to help, so, without telling her friend, she was tested to see if she would be able to donate her kidney. She called him in March to say she was a match.
"I think it's just beautiful to give life in this way. I feel this is a way for me to give back to my friend and also to his children," said Rosalinda Barrera, kidney donor. "I hope others consider becoming a donor."
We are able to do this based on a number of factors, including the clinical judgement of our physicians, as well as current circumstances in the facility and the community. Our network of hospitals in the Methodist Healthcare system has helped us limit the number of COVID-19 positive patients at Specialty and Transplant. We also proactively tested all living donors and transplant recipients before their surgeries.
"The staff and physicians worked tirelessly to make this a safe place to have surgeries," said Jeff Wilson, CEO of Specialty and Transplant. "We are proud of the work that they do every day for our patients and their families."
April transplant stats:
19 Kidney Transplants (10 Living Donor, 9 Deceased Donor)
3 Liver Transplants
While continuing to abide by all state regulations, you will see continued, and in some cases enhanced, screening, testing, universal masking, patient cohorting, patient flow procedures, as well as infection prevention protocols in all eight of our facilities. As the largest healthcare system in South Texas, we feel an obligation to set an example to the rest of our community by easing into this transition responsibly and continuing to stay focused on the safety of our staff and patients. To that end, we will also:
- Conduct universal COVID-19 testing for all scheduled surgery patients prior to their procedure
- Cohort COVID-19 positive patients at select Methodist Healthcare facilities
- Continuing to limit visitors to our hospitals
- Add additional screeners in our facilities to manage expanded screening processes designed to identify anyone who may have respiratory illness and expedite their entry to a COVID-19 dedicated area
- Group non-COVID-19 patients, as well as outpatient and elective procedure patients, into a similar cohort and assigning caregivers who are not concurrently caring for COVID-19 positive patients during their shift
- Work to advance technology-enabled solutions that minimize patients' time in facility waiting areas
Methodist Healthcare is truly blessed to safely proceed with elective services, given our vigilant practices, available resources, and our incredible employees.