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Altruistic Donor Causes Chain Reaction

Living-donor transplantations are real-life examples of how every healthy person can save someone else’s life. Patricia Menno-Coveney of Mystic is proof. When her plans to donate a kidney to a friend fell through when he became ineligible as a recipient she stayed on the donor list and, using a computer program, she was identified as a successful match for David Rennie of Shelton. The program also showed that Margaret Rennie, David’s wife, could donate her kidney to Raymond Murphy of Old Saybook. Sylvie Murphy, Raymond’s wife, was a match for Mario Garcia of New Haven; and Hilary Grant, Garcia’s wife, could donate to Edward Brakoniecki of Stamford, who has waited five years for a kidney.

Because of Menno-Coveney’s altruistic donation, the Yale New Haven Transplantation Center was able to organize the chain of transplants and four Connecticut residents received kidneys. YNHH surgeons used minimally invasive, laparoscopic techniques that can reduce recovery time from six to eight weeks to as little as two to four weeks.

“In years past, an altruistic donor’s gift would result in a life-saving transplant to one fortunate person,” Sanjay Kulkarni, MD, director of the Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program, YNHH and Yale School of Medicine, said at the press conference. “Today we are able to celebrate four life-saving transplants started with a great gift from our altruistic donor.”

“I just wanted to give a kidney to one person, but I’m delighted by the results,” said Menno-Coveney, who has been hailed a hero by doctors at Yale New Haven Hospital. “I’m very blessed that this worked out so well.”

Image Caption: With members of YNHH’s transplantation teams at a spring press conference were kidney donors and recipients, front row (l-r): Patricia Menno-Coveney, David Rennie, Margaret Rennie, Raymond Murphy, Sylvie Murphy, Mario Garcia, Hilary Grant and Edward Brakoniecki.