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January 11, 2019/Features & Updates

Organ Transplants Reach Record Levels at Cleveland Clinic in 2018

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Organ transplants in the United States hit a record in 2018. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), 36,527 organ transplants were performed in the U.S.

Cleveland Clinic followed the national trend. The hospital system saw a 24 percent increase in solid organ transplants in 2018, compared to 2017. According to Lifebanc, more than 62,000 people in Northeast Ohio registered to be an organ donor for the first time last year.

Here are a few inspiring patients impacted by organ donation in 2018:

Church Bulletin Leads to Priceless Gift in Mother’s Cancer Fight
After Jason Stechschulte read a notice in the church bulletin that his fellow parishioner needed a liver donor, he felt compelled to help. Doctors diagnosed 44-year-old mother of four, Carole Motycka, with advanced colon cancer that had spread to her liver. A liver transplant would be her best chance for survival, and Jason turned out to be a perfect match.

Carole Motycka living liver donor transplant Cleveland Clinic

Feeling Thankful: Businessman Celebrates New Heart with the Cardiologists Who Helped Save His Life
For nearly 20 years, Christian Bernadotte lived on the edge of heart failure. On Thanksgiving 2017, everything changed. He collapsed at the dinner table. Lucky for him, fellow Swedes Per Wierup, M.D. and Gosta Pettersson, M.D. were also at the table. Christian was placed on the UNOS list for a heart transplant. Following another collapse in February, he was moved to the highest priority and received a heart one week later. Christian says he feels 15 years younger, and he’s back to golfing and traveling all over the world.

After 104-Day Hospitalization, Heart Transplant Recipient Celebrates 21st Birthday
Afflicted with a rare form of genetic mitochondrial disease, which disables the body’s ability to produce sufficient energy to function properly, Kevin was in full cardiac arrest. It was the first of at least a half-dozen times Kevin would need urgent rescuing by Cleveland Clinic physicians, until he was finally sent home 104 days later –with a new heart.

Cleveland Clinic Performs Its First Three-Way Kidney Transplant Swap
Three willing kidney donors. Three ready recipients. One big problem: Every donor was incompatible with the friend or loved one he or she had hoped to help. The solution? The first-ever three-way kidney transplant swap performed at Cleveland Clinic, which is home to one of the nation’s leading kidney transplant centers.


Twenty-Four Years After Donating a Kidney, Mother Inspires Daughter to Do the Same
When she was a girl, Holland Neifer loved when her mother would scratch her back at the end of a long day. Every time Holland reciprocated, she noticed an 18-inch scar wrapping around her mom’s back and side. The scar was from a transplant surgery when Jane donated a kidney to her cousin. Twenty four years later, Holland donated a kidney to her cousin when he was in need.

Register to become an organ donor with Lifebanc and you could save up to 8 lives.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. Cleveland Clinic is consistently recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for its expertise and care. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 81,000 employees worldwide are more than 5,743 salaried physicians and researchers, and 20,160 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,690-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 23 hospitals, 276 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2023, there were 13.7 million outpatient encounters, 323,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 301,000 surgeries and procedures throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 132 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/CleClinicNews. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

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