Most living kidney donors return to their daily lives in a matter of weeks, but for some, unforeseen physical and financial complications arise.
July 2, 2012 Some of the 100,000 people who have donated a kidney in the past six decades say the donation has left them with debilitating health and financial problems. And they say the health care system doesn't do enough to document their cases or issue them sufficient warnings.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/155979681/156099939" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
If Facebook has anything to do with it, more organs will be making their way to patients in need.
May 1, 2012 Starting today, the social media giant is letting you add organ-donation status to your timeline. And, if you'd like to become an organ donor, Facebook will direct you to a registry to get started.
Scarlette Wiens touches the chin of her father, face-transplant recipient Dallas Wiens.
Lightchaser Photography/Brigham and Women's Hospital
May 9, 2011 Dallas Wiens looks nothing like he did before Nov. 13, 2008, when a horrific accident obliterated all his features and left him blind. Now, he has a new face after a transplant at a Boston hospital. And he's heading home to Texas.
Donating a kidney can carry insurance side effects.
April 19, 2011 Living donors of kidneys and other organs face can face difficulties with health costs, if they're uninsured. Recipients' coverage can take care of most acute problems. But some medicines and tests may not be part of the deal.
HIV viral particles as seen under an electron microscope.
Dr. A. Harrison and Dr. P. Feorino/CDC
April 11, 2011 Ending a ban on transplants of HIV-positive organs could help HIV patients get kidneys and livers. About 500 people a year could benefit, according to an analysis from Johns Hopkins researchers.
Robert O'Rourke was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in late 2006. The lung disease causes scarring in the lungs, which makes breathing difficult.
Courtesy of Robert O'Rourke
February 23, 2011 O'Rourke was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in 2006. Last April his doctors told him he would need a transplant if he expected to live much longer. He just got a new lung.
A kidney transplanted in error led to a halt of USC University Hospital's transplant program.
February 18, 2011 The mistake at USC University Hospital appears to have happened when two kidneys from different donors got mixed up. The transplant program has been halted while the problems are investigated and corrected.
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor