Morning Medical Update Thursday 11-17-22

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 28 COVID patients today, down from 33 yesterday. Other significant numbers:

  • 16 with the active virus today, 18 yesterday
  • 0 in ICU, 3 yesterday
  • 0 on a ventilator, 0 yesterday
  • 12 hospitalized, but out of acute infection phase, 15 yesterday

Key points from today’s guests:

Jessica Meza, kidney donor mother

  • Jessica donated her kidney to her five-year-old son Brennan, who has Eagle-Barrett Syndrome -- more commonly known as Prune Belly Syndrome. It means he was born without a full wall of stomach muscles.
  • The syndrome comes with a host of other problems. Brennan was also born with stage four kidney disease. He was in kidney failure and on dialysis before he was even one year old.
  • Over the past three years, Jessica improved her health by losing weight and getting herself in better shape to be a potential donor for her son.
  • Six weeks ago, Jessica finally got the call -- she was approved to donate her kidney.
  • After the transplant, Brennan is doing awesome. The difference was immediate with the increased energy levels and not feeling sick anymore.

Dr. Sean Kumer, transplant surgeon, The University of Kansas Health System

  • The relationship with Children’s Mercy has been strong for a number of years and it benefits the patients in the region when we combine the expertise of care for adults and children.
  • We have a significant number of adults that want to donate to a child patient at Children's Mercy and we developed this partnership to make it happen.
  • Jessica is very special for what she has done. She’s a hero. Moms are heroes.

Dr. Bhargava Mullapudi, chief, Section of Transplant Surgery, Children’s Mercy

  • We coordinate everything together. We’ll meet Dr. Kumer in the pre-op to review the procedure and timing.
  • Timing is important to get the donated kidney transplanted as quickly as possible once it is removed from the donor.
  • Our children's hospital transplant program or kidney transplant program is number two in the country for outcomes and the outcomes have been 100 percent for one year outcomes and three year outcomes, which is a rare find that we have right here.
  • I'm so glad that the kids in the community and our region have such an outstanding hospital here that takes excellent care of kids like their own.

Dr. Richard Hendrickson, transplant surgeon, Children’s Mercy

  • Brennan’s condition made this procedure very challenging. It’s a genetic disorder and he has experienced some conditions that are pretty rare.
  • I've operated and my colleagues have operated on him over 10 times for various reasons from his prune belly lack of abdominal musculature.
  • I've had a great relationship with Jessica for about seven years. He has a great family and has really done well.
  • His five-year outlook is a normal childhood with regular check-ups.

Dr. Dana Hawkinson, medical director of Infection Prevention and Control, The University of Kansas Health System

  • For infection prevention methods, we know that masking reduces diseases for many of our patients.
  • We’ve seen the data that masks can help reduce COVID spread, as well as other respiratory viruses such as the flu.
  • The RSV hospitalization rate for seniors is 10 times higher than usual.

Friday November 18 at 8:00 a.m. is the next Morning Medical Update. Mental health matters, especially for students involved in sports and other school activities. We’ll show you the new video series working to guide coaches, teachers and administrators in helping the nearly 40 percent of children and teens who experience anxiety.

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