Kidney Transplant Milestone Involves Longtime Friends

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Jill Chadwick

News Director

Office: (913) 588-5013

Cell: (913) 223-3974


            The University of Kansas Health System recently reached a milestone in its solid organ transplant program: 2500 kidneys transplanted. And the procedure brought two longtime friends even closer together.

            Tony Zins had a kidney transplant six years ago…his sister donated one of hers. Things went great for about four years but then his body began rejecting the kidney. He had to go back on dialysis for a year while a new donor was sought. Craig Nelson, his longtime friend and classmate from K-State, decided to get tested to see if he was a match…and it turns out he was. The best part was…Craig got to make the call to Tony to tell him the great news.

            In the video, two days after the transplant, Craig and Tony shared their emotions after the procedure. Craig tells how exciting it was to help a good friend…and a bit nerve-wracking too. But he says the transplant team was great in providing reassurance. Tony talks about how discouraging it was to have his first kidney transplant fail, and how tough it was to go back on dialysis. But he says the difference now is amazing…he feels the best he’s felt in years. And with no more dialysis, he’s excited to start the new year being more active with his wife and two young children.

            The video also includes b-roll of the pair before their procedures, video inside the operating room of the transplant, and video from a nurse’s visit to the patient’s rooms two days after the procedures.