They perform an unusual cross transplant at IMSS-Nuevo León

Bad news of incompatibility between family members gave rise to an unusual story of success and solidarity: thanks to the first crossover transplant performed at the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), a 38-year-old woman and a 34-year-old man received the kidneys they needed to improve your quality of life.

The double case was carried out by the transplant team of the High Specialty Medical Unit (UMAE), Specialty Hospital No. 25, of the IMSS in Nuevo León, on August 24.

The story of altruism was carried out by two couples of relatives. In the first, Liliana Saraí Rosario Meza would donate a kidney to her younger sister, and in the second, Norma Angélica Lomelí Rodríguez, offered her kidney to her husband. However, donors and recipients were unfortunately incompatible.

However, thanks to the fact that various factors played in favor of the patients, it was possible to carry out the crossover transplant: Liliana Saraí donated her kidney to Norma Angélica’s husband, while the latter did the same with the sister of the former.

The head of the Transplant Division at UMAE No. 25, Dr. Gerardo Luna López, explained that nearly 50 people, including surgeons, anesthesiologists, nephrologists and nursing staff, worked simultaneously in four operating rooms for six hours to carry out two laparoscopic nephrectomies (kidney procurement) and two kidney transplants.

Commonly, when incompatibility occurs, the hospital looks for compatible tests in other couples, however, practice has shown that it is unlikely to find them outside the family environment, so patients are forced to return to the waiting list, detailed the nephrologist with training in kidney transplantation at UMAE No. 25, Dr. Fausto Manuel Pech Novelo.

For the doctors, Pech Novelo shared, it was a very pleasant surprise to find compatibility in two couples who were not related to each other.

The specialist explained that, in both cases, it was a second transplant for the patients, they belonged to the same age group, the donors were of the same blood group and their kidney function was very similar. Therefore, the interdisciplinary team of Hospital de Especialidades No. 25 offered the crossover transplant.

The donors responded with solidarity to the medical alternative and signed their consent before a notary public to cross-offer the kidneys.

Thanks to this unique story, reality has changed for both families. The donors came out 72 hours after laparoscopic surgery, and the transplant patients after 10 days, all with a favorable health prognosis.

In the case of the woman who received Norma Angélica’s kidney, she had had a failed transplant for three years, so for the last three months she received hemodialysis in the city of Tampico, Tamaulipas.

“We thought that my daughter was going to donate to my other daughter and it turns out not, we were very surprised because they are sisters, it was a time of great frustration, great sadness,” recalled Carlos Andrés Rosario Hernández, father of Liliana Saraí and her sister.

“The great thing is that Dr. Pech told us, ‘there is this possibility’, the crossover transplant, and for us as a family, that was a possibility of life, she is an architect, active, businesswoman, successful woman, who struggled with that ballast”, shared Carlos Andrés. “The support of the IMSS is transcendent in the lives of Mexicans, the Institute plays a vital role.”

On the other hand, originally from San Luis Potosí, the transplanted man had received a kidney seven years ago that was rejected by his body, so that all that time he depended on hemodialysis treatment and waited for a second transplant.

His wife, Norma Angélica Lomelí Rodríguez, said that she had prepared for a long time to try to be a donor and, when the tests with her husband were incompatible, “our world collapsed.”

“However, after three or four days we received a wonderful call, where Dr. Pech informed me that there was a possibility of cross-donation. My heart was filled with many very beautiful emotions, because I used to say: ‘how can I ask someone to die so that my husband can live,'” Norma Angélica said.

“When this came I said: ‘what a blessing to give my kidney to a family and that kidney that they couldn’t give each other, to give it to us.’ We came out compatible, something incredible, it was something wonderful, an opportunity that the whole world opened up for us, it is a miracle”, shared the female donor.

Happy, Norma Angélica comments that in the video calls her husband “does not have a smile on his face” and, now, he does talk about plans for his future.

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