For many siblings in the state of Pennsylvania, there is nothing they won't do for each other. For one sister in a neighboring state, that included donating a kidney to her brother who was in need of a transplant due to renal failure. Sadly, the operation to remove the organ from the 41-year-old woman was unsuccessful. She died due to loss of blood after her aorta was cut during the surgery.
Surgical errors such as nicked organs while harvesting kidneys at the hospital the operation took place are not common. The woman is reportedly the first live donor to die at the hospital. The program has been in place for over 40 years, during which time, 1,000 such operations have been completed.
The incident has not gone unnoticed. In addition to the hospital suspending the program, the New York State Health Department is investigating the death. Hopefully the investigation will make it less likely for another to face the same fate, if or when the live donor program is reinstated.
Though the woman's younger brother was not able to get his sister's kidney as planned, a match was found in a deceased donor. Unlike his sister, though feeling an overwhelming sense of guilt for his sister's death, he will fortunately be able to move forward with is life.
The woman's family has hired an attorney and is planning to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Though a successful lawsuit would do nothing to bring the woman back, it would hopefully make it easier for those she left behind to move forward with their lives.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Yolanda Medina, New York Mother, Dies During Operation To Donate Kidney To Brother," Tara Kelly, June 7, 2012