Center for Living Organ Donation Helps People Give the Ultimate Gift

Living donor transplants are often the best option for people with kidney or liver disease. But a person in need of transplant often spends years waiting for an organ to become available through the National Organ Transplant registry.

Advances in kidney paired donation programs over the past decade have allowed for incompatible pairs to participate in kidney paired exchanges. And people who want to give the gift of life directly to anyone in need can have a center match them through the registry.

These advances have given patients in need of an organ many options, but they still need donors to volunteer. The new Center for Living Organ Donation at Hartford Hospital aims to improve education and awareness, and also ease the process for those who are considering donation or are in the process of becoming a donor.

The team at the new Center for Living Donation includes, from left, Asamoah Anane, RN; Xiaoyi Ye, MD; Pamela Cyr, RN; Kate D’Addabbo, LCSW; and Caroline Rochon, MD.

“We know that becoming a living donor can be scary, but donor safety is always our first priority,” said Caroline Rochon, MD, director of the Center for Living Organ Donation and a transplant surgeon at Hartford Hospital.

“We provide many services to ensure our living donors feel comfortable and supported throughout the journey.” The center offers personalized help for living donors and takes care of many details to make the process as easy as possible. The team also uses a comprehensive living donor evaluation to meet the unique physical and emotional needs of each donor.

Ultimately, living organ donation is fulfilling for the recipient and the donor. “Many living donors tell us the experience is rewarding,” Dr. Rochon said. “There is no greater gift one can give than the gift of life.”