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Patient Stories

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  • Erosalyn Deveza and Aliana Deveza

    A Daughter’s Gift to Her Mother Saves Two Lives

    Just 42 years old, Erosalyn Deveza was drifting toward death. Her kidneys were barely functioning. She was constantly exhausted. She had vertigo and vomited frequently. She was tethered to a home dialysis machine for eight hours each night as she slept. A kidney transplant was the only thing that could save her, but it was unlikely to happen in time in the United States. No one on Deveza's side of the family could provide an organ through a living donation, doctors said, because all were at risk for the same kidney disease. It was too dangerous to leave any of them with a single kidney. Other [...]
    Story Tags: Liver TransplantLiving Donor Liver Transplant
  • Richard Schielke

    Survivor On the Margins: Historic UCSF Transplant Patient Without A Home

    Richard Schielke, long-term transplant survivor
    Survivor on the Margins I first noticed Richard on a Wednesday before my 8am lecture, sitting in a corner of the nursing building's food court. Or rather, it was the first time I really noticed him, because I realized I had seen him sitting there before, looking ahead contentedly with his hands folded on the table in front of him. Richard, it turns out, is a historic patient at UCSF; one of the first people worldwide to receive a kidney transplant. Born with renal failure in the early 1960s, Richard received his transplant at UCSF in 1971 at age ten, at a time when such procedures were [...]
    Story Tags: Kidney Transplant
  • Lorelei Batty

    A Complex Procedure for Life-Threatening Pancreatitis

    A Complex Procedure for Life-Threatening Pancreatitis One morning in December 2014, Lorelei Batty woke up screaming in pain and sick to her stomach. Emergency room doctors in her hometown of Santa Maria, Calif., thought the 3-year-old had the flu and sent her home. But Lorelei didn't improve over the next week and a half, and a far more serious diagnosis soon came in: pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas that's rare in children and can be difficult to treat. After spending most of the next nine months in seven different hospitals with deteriorating health, Lorelei finally[...]
    Story Tags: Chronic PancreatitisIslet Autotransplantation for Chronic Pancreatitis
  • Harrison Schaufer & Annelise Schaufer

    Mother And Son Share Special Bond And Kidney

    Mother And Son Share Special Bond And Kidney
    NapaValleyRegister.com reports on the story of Harrison Schaufer, the recipient of a donor kidney at 22 months old, and his mother Annelise, his living donor. A patient at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco since birth, Harrison, and his mother have attended the annual UCSF Pediatric Transplant Picnic annually. This year Harrison was asked to speak at the event. Harrison Schaufel never shies away from the spotlight, so when he was invited to give a speech about his experiences as a kidney transplant recipient, he couldn't refuse. Schaufel's story is nothing short of [...]
    Story Tags: Kidney Transplant
  • Chris Schroeder

    When Chris Schroeder's Kidneys Failed, His Family Stepped Forward

    Chris Schroeder has been extraordinarily unlucky — and extraordinarily lucky. The 58-year-old Walnut Creek, Calif., resident grew up in a family where the specter of polycystic kidney disease, a disorder in which cysts form on the kidneys and eventually stop them from functioning, loomed large. His mother had a kidney transplant in her late 60s, and her father died of hereditary disease at the age of 56. So, from a young age, Schroeder was on the lookout for signs that he too would face similar challenges. Chris Schroeder with his wife and son By the time he was in his early 40s, his[...]
    Story Tags: Kidney TransplantLiving Donor Kidney TransplantPeritoneal DialysisPolycystic Kidney Disease
  • Alyssa Welch

    A Story of Hope and Survival

    Amanda, Kim, Alyssa.jpg
     Alyssa flanked by mother Kim and older sister My name is Kim Welch, and my daughter Alyssa’s story is one of hope and survival. She was born 15 years ago with autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD). ARPKD causes severe damage to both your kidney and liver. Alyssa was two and a half years old when she had her first kidney transplant. Ten days after her successful kidney transplant, unrelated to her congenital disease, Alyssa was diagnosed with eye cancer. Her left eye was surgically removed and replaced with an artificial one. Time marched on and so did Alyssa’s[...]
    Story Tags: Kidney TransplantPolycystic Kidney Disease
  • Alison Wesley

    After Islet Transplant, Glucose Control is "Amazing"

    Islet Cell
    Alison Wesley received her diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes when she was just 11 years old, after she developed the classic symptoms of the disease – severe weight loss, excessive thirst, sugar cravings, frequent urination, and feeling lethargic. To treat the diabetes, doctors put her on the first generation of insulin pumps. She continued to use the pumps off and on until she was in her early 30s. But eventually, even the pumps could no longer help her control her glucose. "I developed 'brittle diabetes'," she explains. "My glucose levels were swinging up and down. I was checking them five to [...]
    Story Tags: Islet Transplant for Type 1 DiabetesType 1 Diabetes
  • Alfonso Garcia

    A Young Man Saves Teen's Life

    Alfonso Garcia was just like any other typical healthy and active 16-year-old. He dreamed of attending the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, boxing, and serving in the military like his two other brothers. Then, in January 2010, he suddenly started feeling sick. He became feverish, anemic, fatigued and jaundiced. Alfonso found out that he had Wilson's disease, a rare genetic disorder in which copper in the body isn't properly eliminated and instead accumulates, damaging the liver and nervous system. Alfonso and his family received a grave[...]
    Story Tags: Liver TransplantWilson Disease
  • Pat Spurgeon

    Pat Spurgeon - Documentary - Treatment for Kidney Failure

    San Francisco International Film Festival, Thirteen years ago, Pat Spurgeon of the indie pop band Rogue Wave received a kidney transplant. Unfortunately, just as the band started to take off, the kidney began to fail. The feature documentary "D Tour" chronicles Pat's experience as a UCSF kidney patient  including his search for a living organ donor. The film also features Dr. Sang-Mo Kang of the UCSF Division of Transplantation, the surgeon who took care of Pat.  * Image of Pat Spurgeon courtesy of "The independent, SF"  and provided under a creative commons attribution license. [...]
  • Gloria & Veronica Ramos

    Living Donor Transplant Emblemmatic of Loving Family

    Gloria Ramos
    When Gloria Ramos received the call in August 2000 that UCSF Medical Center had a liver for the transplant she badly needed, the Ramos family drove to the hospital with great anticipation and excitement. But further testing of the available organ revealed it wasn't a good match for Gloria and her daughters and husband expressed their disappointment. "This only means that I'm at the top of the list," Gloria recalls assuring her family. "I'll get called again!" Gloria contracted Hepatitis C through a blood transfusion in 1982 but the deadly virus lived undetected in her body until the summer[...]
    Story Tags: CirrhosisHepatitis CLiver TransplantLiving Donor Liver Transplant
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