Australian has kidney transplant via robot named Divinci . . . ‘Kidney Priest’ spreading word about organ donation

Tim Sawley has become the first Australian in history to undergo a kidney transplant via robotic surgery. The transplant occurred on Wednesday with his wife, Talitha, his donor. . . . “The state of the art surgical robot, called Divinci, is guided by surgeons,” writes Mike Dalton of, “but allows for the surgeon’s tools to undertake work not humanly possible, including being able to rotate 360 degrees in minute crevasses within the maze of the body’s viscera.” . . . Dalton’s story is right here.

Four years ago, at the age of 15, Kathleen Roberts of Kamloops underwent a kidney transplant, receiving a new kidney from her father. Prior to that day, she was taking 78 pills a day and experiencing kidney failure. She’s 19 now and attending UBC-Okanagan in Kelowna as she works towards a Bachelor of Science in nursing. . . . She also is promoting organ donation. “I know so many people who are on the wait list or have passed away on the wait list,” Roberts told Todd Sullivan of Kamloops This Week. “And, in the future, it’s very possible I’ll have to go on the wait list. It’s so life-altering to get that organ. It just takes a few seconds. Why not save someone’s life?” . . . Sullivan’s story is right here.

Some U.S.-based numbers from a story by Jen Christensen of CNN: There are more than 37 million Americans with kidney disease, but the best guess is that 96 per cent of those people aren’t aware that they have it. . . . Every month, about 8,000 Americans die awaiting an organ transplant. . . . More than 95,000 Americans are on the waiting list in the hopes of getting a new kidney. That list grows by about 3,000 every month. . . . About 100,000 Americans start dialysis each year. . . . One in five donated kidneys end up in the trash. . . . All of these numbers are why the U.S. is moving to change a system that some experts feel is broken. . . . Christensen’s complete story is right here.

Have you heard about the ‘Kidney Priest?’ . . . In 2009, Reverend Father Davis Chiramel, who is from the Indian state of Kerala, donated a kidney to Gopinathan Chakkamadathil. . . . “In the decade since,” writes Yasmin Hingun of the South China Morning Post, “Chiramel has toured India, Europe, America and the Middle East to champion organ donation, whether from living or dead donors.” . . . Chiramel told Hingun: “As a priest, I preach about Jesus sacrificing himself for others, but I have to practice it, too. Ten years ago when Gopinathan could not find a kidney donor, I made the choice to donate my kidney. No thinking about it. I just did it.” . . . Interestingly, surgeons in Hong Kong completed 60 kidney transplants in 2018, but only 30 in 2019. What happened? There aren’t enough donors to meet the demand. . . . Hingun’s complete story is right here.


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