Historic Kidney Transplant Chain Honored

Pictured are some of the participants of the state’s largest ever living-donor kidney transplant chain. (From left to right) Ben Little, donor; Kelly Mogler, donor; Sue Venteicher, donor; Vicki Hunter, kidney/pancreas transplant manager; Gina Rau, transplant coordinator; Jennifer Baer, donor; Nikki Quakenbush, donor; Derek Beisner, donor; and David Hansen, donor.

One year after completing the largest internal living-donor kidney transplant chain in Nebraska history, the Nebraska Medicine kidney transplant team was presented with the Gift of Life Heroes award at the 2018 Heroes in the Heartland luncheon, hosted by the American Red Cross.

You may remember the week of Feb. 27, 2017, nine patients received kidneys at Nebraska Medical Center from nine living donors. Previously, the largest internal living-donor kidney transplant chain at Nebraska Medical Center was a three-way exchange in July 2016.

The 18-person chain marks one of the largest single center kidney transplant chains involving a pediatric recipient in the United States. It’s also one of the largest single center kidney transplant chains performed in the U.S. in which none of the recipients were on hemodialysis (where a machine filters the patient’s blood outside their body).

Sue Venteicher, a wife, mother and grandmother, started the chain in memory of Michael Peters, a former patient that Venteicher cared for at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center.

The morning of Feb. 27, Venteicher walked into Nebraska Medical Center to start the chain. Two transplants were performed each day on Feb. 27 and 28, March 1 and 2, with the final transplant happening on March 3. Transplant surgeon Alexander Maskin, MD, performed the donor surgeries (known as a donor nephrectomy) while transplant surgeon Arika Hoffman, MD, transplanted them into the recipients. The chain included five patients who had not yet started dialysis, four who had a difficult time finding a match, and one person who was transplanted off the waitlist.

On March 8, the nine donors were honored by the American Red Cross at the 2018 Heroes in the Heartland, now in its 17th year. The nine donors include:

Sue Venteicher – Omaha, Nebraska – Donated in memory of a friend

David Hansen – Lincoln, Nebraska – Exchange donor to help his friend and co-worker

Nikki Quakenbush – Omaha, Nebraska – Exchange donor to help her sister-in-law

Jennifer Baer – Scottsbluff, Nebraska – Exchange donor to help her aunt

Ben Little – Omaha, Nebraska – Exchange donor to help his sister-in-law

Jonathon Sands – Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Exchange donor to help his mother

Derek Beisner – Waverly, Nebraska – Exchange donor to help his mother

Kelly Mogler – Elkhorn, Nebraska – Exchange donor to help a neighbor and friend

Tyler Sturgeon – Cozad, Nebraska – Exchange donor to help a family friend

Learn more about the transplant chain by watching this video.

To schedule an appointment with a specialist at Nebraska Medicine, call +1-402-559-3090 or OIHS@nebraskamed.com.

Comments are closed.