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Wife To Donate Kidney To Husband On Valentine's Day At Stony Brook University Hospital

STONY BROOK, N.Y., February 9, 2006 -- Joe and Leona Agnello join Dr. Wayne Waltzer, Professor & Chairman of the Department of Urology and Director of Renal Transplantation Services, and Dr. Frank Darras, Renal Transplant Specialist, of Stony Brook University Hospital to discuss the upcoming transplant surgery in which the wife will donate her kidney to her ailing husband. The surgery will take place on Valentine's Day.

Joe and Leona have been married since June 2004. They met when she moved away from her ex boyfriend and had her mail forwarded to her new address. Joe was her new mail carrier and she told him she had been waiting for a check that was supposed to be forwarded to her but had not arrived yet. Later that evening, after his shift, Joe returned to her home with the piece of mail she was looking for. "I could kiss you," she said. "That was the end of that for that Italian," Leona said of Joe.

Joe has suffered from juvenile diabetes and managed it with insulin. In 2001, he learned that he had been suffering from hypertension for about 10 years and it did great damage to his kidneys. It was controlled with medication, but his condition deteriorated and he was told in 2004 that he would have to start dialysis or consider a transplant. His siblings and wife were tested as possible donors, but only his wife, was a perfect match.

Stony Brook University Hospital is the only academic medical center and tertiary care hospital in Suffolk County. With 504 beds and 4,000 employees, SBUH is the largest hospital in the county. The new Heart Center and the Long Island Cancer Center attract patients from throughout the region with cutting edge diagnostic and treatment facilities and compassionate care. Stony Brook has Long Island's only kidney transplantation center and the nation's first Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center. The hospital is also the regional referral center for trauma, perinatal and neonatal intensive care, burns, bone marrow and stem cell transplantation, cystic fibrosis, pediatric/adult AIDS, and is home to the Cody Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities.

Stony Brook University Hospital
Kidney Transplant Program
25 Years of Transplantation

  • Stony Brook University Hospital had 70 transplants last year; 34 from living donors;
  • Of the 34 living donors, 16 were unrelated and 18 were related;
  • Living donors account for 40-50% of donors, mostly from someone the recipient knows;
  • Stony Brook University Hospital accepts living kidney donors up to 75 years of age;
  • Living donors are important because there aren't enough deceased donors in the country;
  • Stony Brook University Hospital's oldest recipient was an 84 year old who several months ago received what they call a two-for-one (two kidneys from the same donor) from a 74 year old;
  • 16,004 kidney transplants in 2004; Through November 2005, 15,207; of those, living donors account for 6,647; deceased donors 9,357; one third of all transplants are from living donors;
  • Currently, 97,229 people are on the transplant waiting list; 62,724 of them are waiting for a kidney (United Network for Organ Sharing);
  • The next largest waiting list group is liver recipients at 17,667

Other Resources

National Kidney Foundation web site: http://www.kidney.org/news/newsroom/fsitem.cfm?id=30

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