Kentucky Children's Hospital performed its first pediatric kidney transplant in more than eight years late last month, the University of Kentucky announced Monday.
Courtney Stroud of Car lisle underwent the procedure Aug. 31. The 16-year-old, her blond hair streaked with pink highlights, appeared at a news conference Monday alongside UK doctors who said they hope Courtney is the first of what would become several pediatric kidney transplant patients each year.
"I feel a whole lot better," Courtney said Monday.
The return to pediatric kidney transplantation is part of UK HealthCare's drive to establish itself as a regional destination for solid-organ transplants. Next up will be pediatric heart transplants, said Michael Karpf, executive vice president for health affairs at UK.
Karpf has described the expansion of organ transplant programs as a service to Kentuckians, who no longer will have to go far from home for such surgeries.
Dr. Roberto Gedaly, UK's chief of transplant surgery, said UK could perform as many as six to 10 pediatric kidney transplants a year, or about 10 percent to 15 percent of UK HealthCare's total kidney transplants.
In 2007, Courtney was diagnosed with Senior-Loken syndrome, a disorder affecting the kidneys and retinas. Her mother, Sheryl Stroud, said Courtney was diagnosed within two weeks of her father's death from lung cancer and black lung.
Stroud said that she couldn't afford to take Courtney outside Kentucky and described finding out about the possibility of a kidney transplant at UK as "a light ahead in the tunnel."