Morning Medical Update Friday 12-2-22

Media Resources

Jill Chadwick

News Director

Office: (913) 588-5013

Cell: (913) 223-3974


    The University of Kansas Health System is treating a total of 44 COVID patients today, up from 39 yesterday. Other significant numbers:

  • 28 with the active virus today, 25 yesterday
  • 2 in ICU, 3 yesterday
  • 0 on a ventilator, 1 yesterday
  • 16 hospitalized, but out of acute infection phase, 14 yesterday

Key points from today’s guests:

Gary Gray, awaiting liver transplant

  • Two years ago, Gary was diagnosed with a blockage of his bile ducts, a condition that is destroying his liver and requires a liver transplant.
  • Recent national changes to donor allocations are impacting Gary’s ability to receive a transplant as donated livers that would typically be available in Gary’s region are being sent to other more populous regions like the East and West Coasts.
  • After two years, he finally has a lead on a liver donor – a living liver donor instead of a deceased liver donor.

Amy Wallace, liver transplant recipient

  • She waited a year and a half on the transplant list before getting a call about a deceased donor.
  • Has a 10-year-old and a nine-month-old and everyone is very healthy -- none of that would have happened unless she received the liver transplant in 2017.
  • Thankful she can use her story for good as she moves forward in life. Grateful for all the donors that have signed up to be a donor at death and encourages everyone to give that some consideration because she and Gary both wouldn't be here unless there were selfless people like that in this world.

Dr. Ryan Taylor, gastroenterologist, The University of Kansas Health System

  • Liver transplant is one of the biggest operations you can get. There's a lot the body has to go through to be able to get the liver transplant.
  • We have one of the highest organ donation rates anywhere in the country and that's credit to our local citizens and all the hard work that's done in the community to ways raise awareness about liver transplants.
  • That's wonderful and great for the overall organ donation process. But it is hard for patients who are in our community and actually need to access those organs and then to see them not be available during their time of need.
  • Amy was tremendously sick right before her transplant, but she probably would have had to wait longer in the current system and that just breaks my heart to see patients suffer and struggle with already a difficult process.
  • Important to highlight the importance of organ donation. This whole process only works if someone makes an altruistic gift of that nature. And so we have to make sure everyone's aware of organ donation -- that's the ultimate gift someone can give.

Dr. Dana Hawkinson, director of infection control and prevention, The University of Kansas Health System

  • According to the CDC, a record 40 million children missed measles vaccine doses last year and unvaccinated children are at the center of an outbreak right now of measles in central Ohio.
  • This is extremely concerning as safe vaccines have been proven to help prevent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles, mumps and rubella.
  • Also, we know that for our transplant population, it's vitally important that they receive key vaccinations before going to transplant.

Monday, Dec. 5 at 8:00 a.m. is the next Morning Medical Update. Retirees often turn to volunteering to help fill their days in a meaningful way. But the pandemic has caused isolation and fear and led to a drop in volunteerism, which after two years has led to a change in habit. We’ll talk about the psychology of what's happening and how you can help fill the volunteer void.

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