Longest Organ Donation Chain Links 60 People

March 23, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. donor (n.) – a person who gives something important in order to help others
ExampleDonors gave money to help children.

2. incompatible (adj.) –  cannot go together; not matched
Example:   Two people who have different ideas may be incompatible.

3. recipient (n.) – a person or a thing that receives
Example: Donations were given to the rightful recipient.

4. diagnose (v.) – to find a problem in someone or something
Example: Experts diagnosed what is causing the patient to be sick.

5. transplant (v.) – in medical surgery, to transfer one part of the body to another person
Example:  The man gave away his kidney to be transplanted to someone who needs it.

Read the text below.

In the US, a total of 30 patients received kidneys from 30 living donors, setting the world record for the longest chain of organ donations.

People in the chain wanted to give a kidney to a family member or friend, but were medically incompatible with the patient, so they donated to someone else instead. The family of the patient who received the kidney then donated a kidney to another patient. The process took four months to complete, and involved 44 hospitals across 11 states.

Rick Ruzzamenti started the chain when he decided to donate his kidney to a stranger. The recipient's family then donated a kidney to someone else. The chain continued until the kidney of the last donor was given to a man named Don Terry.

Thanks to the chain, Don Terry no longer had to wait up to 10 years in the organ donation waiting list. He was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and was at risk of dying from kidney failure. Terry was not able to continue the chain, however, as his only brother is dead, and his parents are already elderly.

Out of the 400,000 Americans undergoing treatment for kidney disease, 4,500 die each year while waiting for a kidney. Doctors say an organ donation chain is the best and fastest way for patients with incompatible donors to have transplants.

As for Ruzzamenti, he says helping friends and family is easy, but, if people would show such kindness to strangers, all world problems could be solved.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A 

      If you can donate one part of your body to another person, what would it be? Why is that so?
      How can doctors encourage people to donate body parts?

Discussion B

      Would donation chains work successfully in your country? Please explain further.
      What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of organ donation?


March 23, 2012