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Tipsheet: Donate Life Month 2023

Transplant Experts From the Cedars-Sinai Comprehensive Transplant Center and Smidt Heart Institute Available to Discuss Leading-Edge Research and Patient Care Advances Throughout April

Experts from the Cedars-Sinai Comprehensive Transplant Center and Smidt Heart Institute are available for interviews about transplantation, immunology and organ donation throughout April, Donate Life Month.

Some of Cedars-Sinai’s recent transplant stories include:Rabbi Jason Weiner, PhD, awaits explant surgery with his wife in Toronto. Photo courtesy of Jason Weiner.

Being a Blessing: Cedars-Sinai Rabbi Donates Kidney

As director of the Spiritual Care Department and senior rabbi at Cedars-Sinai, Rabbi Jason Weiner, PhD, has always had a special place in his heart for organ donors and their families.

But everything changed for Weiner this February, when he went from praising those selfless donors to becoming one himself—traveling all the way to Toronto to donate a kidney to a complete stranger. Read more about Weiner’s story here.

Cedars-Sinai Performs Most Thoracic Transplants in California

Cardiothoracic surgeons in the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai performed more thoracic organ transplants than any other program in California in 2022, making this the largest cardiothoracic transplant center by volume in California and the third largest by volume in the U.S. The members of the team are pioneers in state-of-the-art minimally invasive lung transplantation and performed what is believed to be the first robotic lung transplant in the nation. The program is also the No. 1 adult heart transplant program in the nation. 

After 10 Years on Waiting List, Pediatric Patient Receives Kidney Transplant

She waited 10 years for a kidney transplant, and now Maryashley Barbot and her family are celebrating six months with her new kidney.

Barbot, who is from Charleston, South Carolina, is 19 and has developmental challenges. She was born with kidney disease, known as congenital nephrotic syndrome. She received a kidney when she was 20 months old and the kidney lasted for seven years. Then she was on a donor list for 10 years while on dialysis. 

Because she had very high antibody levels, she was extremely difficult to match for a kidney. Cedars-Sinai has a desensitization protocol with a specific treatment plan involving infusions to help lower antibody levels. Cedars-Sinai is one of the main hospitals in the U.S. offering this protocol for pediatric patients, and the hospital receives patients from all over the country. Maryashley had her transplant here in September and is back in April for her checkup. Read more about Maryashley's story here.

2022: Another Record-Breaking Year for Transplants

The Cedars-Sinai Comprehensive Transplant Center and Smidt Heart Institute completed 583 solid organ transplants in 2022, surpassing 2021’s record of 573 and reaching a new highest total for the medical center.

The largest increase in volume was in kidney transplantation. Surgeons completed 286 kidney transplants and four dual kidney/pancreas transplants. Cedars-Sinai is a national leader in performing transplants on highly sensitized patients, who make up about one-third of patients on kidney transplant waiting lists. Read more here.