UK HealthCare

UK HealthCare Celebrates Pediatric Kidney Transplant


To view a transcript of the video above, please click on the transcript link just below the photo gallery. LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 14, 2010)  UK HealthCare announces the revitalization of its pediatric kidney transplant program with the successful transplant surgery of 16-year-old Courtney Stroud, of Carlisle, Ky. Courtney's transplant was performed Aug. 31 at Kentucky Children's Hospital.

"This is a milestone in UK HealthCare’s goal to become a nationally recognized center in providing advanced subspecialty pediatric care for citizens of Kentucky and beyond," said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs. “It also is very important for the people of Kentucky and the surrounding region, who now can be offered this procedure without having to travel far from home.”

In 2007, Courtney was diagnosed with Senior-Loken syndrome, a rare disorder affecting the kidneys and retinas. As a result of the disease, she has suffered some loss of vision and kidney failure, causing her to need dialysis and eventually a kidney transplant.

The Strouds found out earlier this summer that UK would again be listing patients in need of pediatric kidney transplants. 

"We were so glad we didn't have to go out of state for the transplant," said Courtney's mother, Sheryl. "We've been through so much, but being able to be close to home for her surgery and recovery has made it a little easier on all of us."

Today, Courtney continues to improve and her biggest concern is how soon she can join her classmates at Nicholas County High School, where she is a junior.

UK HealthCare has had continued success with its adult kidney transplant program since its first transplant in 1964. Overall, more than 2,100 transplant surgeries have been performed, including 78 during the last fiscal year, said Dr. Jay Zwischenberger, chair of the Department of Surgery.

In July, Dr. Ali Ziada joined the UKHealthCare team as an assistant professor to build a pediatric urology service.

“The addition of Dr. Ziada to the Department of Surgery and the Kentucky Children’s Hospital has given us the ability to provide complete pediatric services and allow us to perform pediatric kidney transplants, a much-needed service in Kentucky," Zwischenberger said.  "It is also an important step as we look to our future in offering additional transplant services including pediatric heart and liver transplants.”

Furthermore, Kentucky Children's Hospital and the Department of Pediatrics is continuing to expand its services to offer the highest level of advanced care for families in this region, said Dr. Tim Bricker, professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics and physician-in-chief at the Kentucky Children's Hospital. The Kentucky Children’s Hospital has experienced nearly a 40 percent increase in patient discharges during the past six years.

The continued growth of UK's pediatric, transplant and subspecialty services has a far-reaching impact resulting in increases in research activity as well as academic opportunities, Karpf said. In the past six years, UK HealthCare, through targeted recruitment, has increased the overall faculty by 31 percent. In addition, UK HealthCare's significant growth is a stimulus for economic development in Central and Eastern Kentucky and beyond with more than 2,500 full time employees and a related increase of more than $300 million in salary and benefits annually, he said.

"We are excited to be able to provide the highest quality of care for patients like Courtney and her family so close to their home," Karpf said. "And UK HealthCare's significant growth has made this kind of success story possible."