FORT WORTH, Texas — Richard Combs couldn’t have asked for a better gift. At 2 p.m. on his birthday, a transplant coordinator at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth notified him to prepare for kidney transplant surgery.
Combs, a 69-year-old Fort Worth resident, had been on the hospital’s waiting list for a donor kidney since February.
“My family laughed and joked about what a nice gift it would be if I got a kidney on my birthday,” he said. “They were so happy when it happened!”
Texas Health Fort Worth staff and clinicians are celebrating right alongside Combs — his kidney transplant procedure marks the 1000th performed by the program, which began in 1986 when Dr. Robert Sloane completed the first transplant.
“What an honor to celebrate Mr. Combs and play a role in giving him the precious gift of life for his birthday,” said Lillie Biggins, hospital president. “I hope this enables him to spend many more years with his three kids and seven grandchildren. This is an exciting milestone for Texas Health Fort Worth, the kidney transplant team and the community we serve.”
More than 101,000 people in the U.S. are on the waiting list for a kidney transplant, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Less than 17,000 people receive one each year.
“Texas Health Fort Worth has helped pioneer kidney transplantation services in Tarrant County,” said Dr. Tariq Khan, surgical director of the program who performed Combs’ procedure. “We are committed to providing the full continuum of care to patients with end-stage renal disease, including life-saving transplantation surgery.”
The kidney transplant program at Texas Health Fort Worth cares for patients with end-stage renal disease by evaluating whether a kidney transplant is safe and beneficial, providing guidance on donor options and placing the patient on a waiting list if qualified. Once a donor kidney is available, the patient is quickly notified to prepare for surgery.
During recovery patients are monitored closely. The transplant team stays connected with the patient to answer questions and counsel them on physical activity, nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices for the best possible transplant outcome.
“From the transplant coordinators to the surgical team and the ICU nurses, I’m very pleased with my care at Texas Health Fort Worth,” said Combs. “This surgery is a blessing.” For more information on the kidney transplant program at Texas Health Fort Worth, visit www.texashealth.org/kidneytransplant.
About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is a faith-based, nonprofit health system that cares for more patients in North Texas than any other provider. With a service area that consists of 16 counties and more than 7 million people, the system is committed to providing quality, coordinated care through its Texas Health Physicians Group and 26 hospital locations under the banners of Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Huguley. Texas Health access points and services, ranging from acute-care hospitals and trauma centers to outpatient facilities and home health and preventive services, provide the full continuum of care for all stages of life. The system has more than 4,000 licensed hospital beds, 6,200 physicians with active staff privileges and more than 25,000 employees. For more information about Texas Health, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit www.TexasHealth.org.