For the first time in Indiana, doctors opening the doors to the operating room during a live Twittercast of a kidney transplant Wednesday.
Indiana University Health will post play-by-play commentary, photos and take questions via Twitter
during the living donor kidney transplant in an effort to educate and inform.
"There are a lot of myths and misconceptions that surround organ transplantation," said Dr. Tim Taber, medical director for the kidney transplant program at IU Health. "It's our hope that, by offering a window into what happens during a living kidney donation and transplant surgery, more Hoosiers will be encouraged to give the gift of life through organ donation."
Caleb Johnson, 31, an IU graduate from Merom, developed kidney failure from Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis, or FSGS, a condition where the millions of tiny filters in the kidney are so badly scarred and damaged that they no longer filter blood properly, the hospital said.
Johnson will receive a lifesaving kidney from his friend of four years, Colin Newton, 33, who is also from Merom.
"I hope this Twittercast opens everyone's eyes to the need for more living donors, especially donors who aren't related to the organ's recipient," Johnson said. "I was fortunate enough to have a friend like Colin to be there for me in my time of need, but not everyone is that lucky."
The Twittercast will follow the entire operation, from when Newton's healthy kidney is removed to after it's received by Johnson.
"I'm just glad to be able to help my buddy make it through the most difficult time in his life," Newton said. "Hopefully, Caleb will soon be able to return to work and get back to doing the things he loves most."
Twitter users can follow the Twittercast, which started at 9 a.m., by following @IU_Health
and using the hashtag #calebskidney.
The kidney is the most demanded organ needed for transplant. More than 90 percent of the more than 100,000 Americans waiting on the national transplant list for an organ transplant are in need of a new kidney, IU Health said.
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