|REUVEN LAVI 370.(Photo by: Courtesy ADI)|
Organ donor cards enable 3 to jump to head of line
By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH
Patients who had recently signed organ donation cards receive precedence as organ recipients.
Three people who signed organ donation cards in recent months were the first to
receive precedence as organ recipients in an arrangement ADI-The National
Transplant Center, designed last year to encourage donor
The three would not otherwise have been currently qualified
to receive organs.
Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba admitted
a 48-year-old man, Reuven Lavi, last week, who suffered from severe brain damage
due to an ischemic stroke (a clot in his brain). When all the doctors’ efforts
to save him failed, he was declared dead.
A total of four patients
underwent organ transplants at the Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus in
Petah Tikva, while another two received corneas that restored their
A 62-year-old man received Lavi’s heart; a 57-year-old man his
liver; a 34-year-old man and a 59-year-old woman each received a kidney. The
cornea recipients were women in their mid-50s.
A representative of the
Lavi family said they were shocked and in great pain over Reuven’s sudden death,
but received consolation from the fact that he gave life to others.
wish the recipients a complete recovery and a long life,” his aunt
The recipients of the liver and the kidneys were those who
benefited from the ADI program for signers of organ donor cards. The heart
recipient received the organ because his condition and suitability put him in
the first position entitling him to it.
ADI has some 670,000 potential
donors registered in its databank. The program giving precedence to ADI
card bearers continued for almost a year until April 1, 2012, during which
70,000 additional card signers were added to the list. It was the first time in
the world that such a program was implemented, causing other transplant
organizations to show interest.
This demonstrates that the program works,
ADI said. From now on, new organ donor card bearers will have to wait three
years to be entitled to receive organs out of turn.
In addition, the
donor recipient was involved in the country’s first “liver domino
Until now, such an arrangement to increase the number of
organs has been carried out in Israel only for kidneys.
A liver was taken
from deceased person and transplanted into a recipient whose liver was
transplanted into another recipient. The reason for the complex procedure is
that one patient suffered from a metabolic disease; the cadaver liver was
transplanted to halt the disease. But his own liver was simultaneously
transplanted into the other patient who suffered from cirrhosis and a tumor. The
surgical procedures took 10 hours and were successful, with both patients in
The first man, 61, had a rare genetic disease called
familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy, which causes the liver to produce a
Prof. Ran Tur-Kaspa, head of the hospital’s liver
institute, said that as a result of the disorder, damage was liable to be caused
to the nervous system, leading to other disorders involving the heart and
digestive system and even death. Receiving another liver was the only way
to stop the disease.
Even though the liver that was removed produces the
problematic protein, it functions normally and would not cause the disease in a
patient who received it for five to 10 years at least. Thus it was decided to
implant the liver into a 65-year-old man, who had cirrhosis and a tumor, who was
just as desperate to get a suitable liver. The domino procedure was his only
chance to survive.
Prof. Eitan Mor, head of organ transplantation in
Beilinson, said among the difficulties of removing a liver from a live patient
was cutting the blood vessels leading to the organ in a way that allow it to be
transplanted in the second person while leaving enough vessels for the new
“We are happy that we succeeded and helped two patients
simultaneously despite the severe shortage of organs,” Mor noted.
Medical Center director- general Dr. Eyran Halperin said he was proud that such
complicated procedures saved the patients’ lives.