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06:09 AM

Pasadena Weekly: Former Pasadena Mayor Bill Paparian Receives a Lifesaving Kidney

Pasadena Weekly recently interviewed Stanley C. Jordan, MD, director of Nephrology & Transplant Immunology and medical director of the Kidney Transplant Program at Cedars-Sinai, about a patient who received a lifesaving kidney transplant from his wife, even though she is a different blood type.

Patient Bill Paparian, a 70-year-old criminal defense lawyer and former mayor of the City of Pasadena, received the life-saving gift in August.

As Pasadena Weekly explains, the rare and relatively new procedure is known as an ABO incompatible transplant, which only a small number of hospitals in the United States are able to perform. Jordan pioneered the procedure that turns incompatible donors into compatible matches and Cedars-Sinai surgeons began performing this surgery in 2005. 

“Success rates for these patients are in line with lower-risk compatible kidney transplants,” said Jordan.

The process that Jordan pioneered greatly reduces the risk of the body rejecting a new kidney, a process that has been instrumental in the success of ABO incompatible transplants.

The surgery enabled Paparian, who has had kidney disease for 12 years, to receive the healthy organ just 10 months after starting dialysis. Often, patients in need of a donated kidney have to wait months or even years for a compatible match.  

“I’m getting stronger every day,” Paparian told Pasadena Weekly.

Paparian said his wife, Sona, researched their options after he signed up on the National Kidney Registry and discovered the ABO incompatible transplant procedure.

“Sona stepping up like this is a real testament to our very strong relationship,” said Paparian.

Sona, on the other hand, downplays what she did. She can’t even remember debating the idea in her own mind. She said it came to her in “just an instant. It was a natural thing.”

Read the complete story here.

Read more on the Cedars-Sinai blog: What You Need to Know About Kidney Stones