Monday, July 19, 2010

Kidney exchange story at NEPKE

Market design is full of both frustration and satisfaction. Kidney exchange provides an unusual amount of each. Sometimes the satisfactions come in unexpected ways. Below is an email I received yesterday, whose author gave me permission to share it here, along with the photo.

"Dear Dr. Roth,

I want to thank you for your role in establishing the New England Program for Kidney Exchange. On July 8 my husband Bryan, in a 3-way swap with donor/ recipient pairs at Hopkins, RIH/ Brown and Dartmouth, received his new kidney after years of failing health. He is already feeling remarkably better, and his new kidney is functioning well.

Here is a photo of our 3-year-old, Lincoln, and 3-month-old, Haven, thanking Bryan's brother for donating his kidney to a stranger at Hopkins so Bryan could receive one from Dartmouth. I can imagine that theoretical academic work can lack a human face at times, so I wanted to assure you that your work is truly changing lives. I can't thank you enough for giving my boys their Daddy back.

Katie Silberman

Update: Ms. Silberman writes
"hi Dr Roth,
Everyone at RIH was very pleased with your blog.  Here is a little more about Bryan and our family, if you are interested - a website we created to look for a donor.  Now not only is it out of date, but we can take it down!  (we also learned that finding a donor from your community at large is nearly impossible - I really think swaps are the best answer by far, since it is only family members who will follow through with the process.  I can't tell you how many leads we had that fell through along the way.)

We learned that Bryan's brother Stephen's kidney went to a 42-yr-old father of four in Maryland.  Very gratifying.



Anonymous said...

Wow! Great job, Al (and others)!

Alex Tabarrok said...

Wonderful! I better no one has thanked you for matching them to the perfect hospital--but they should!

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