10 unbelievable organ transplant stories

PHOTO: 10 unbelievable organ transplant stories

Recently, the world's largest series of organ transplants took place, where 60 patients exchanged 30 kidneys in a domino chain of events across 11 states in the US.

The arrangement involved a number of people agreeing to give a kidney to a stranger in return for their sick relative receiving one matching their blood and antibody type.

Think the strange tale is like an episode right out of popular hit show "House"?

If this makes your jaw drop, read on for more unbelievable organ transplant stories, compiled by oddee.com:

1. Woman receives kidney from husband's lover

When a 34-year-old Turkish woman discovered that she would die without a kidney transplant, her unlikely saviour came in the form of her husband's mistress. 

Meliha Avcı's kidneys had both failed her 12 years ago, resulting in the need for dialysis three times a week, four hours per session.

During this time, her husband of 16 years, Mehmet Avcı, met another woman while accompanying his wife on a hospital trip.

After getting to know 34-year-old Ayse Imdat, Mehmet asked her to move to his mother's home, under a pretence that she was the new babysitter for the couple's son.

After his wife found out about the affair, she pleaded with her husband to marry Imdat after she died.

As Meliha's condition continued to deteriorate, Imdat made the suggestion that Meliha be saved with one of her kidneys, as the two women shared the same blood type.

Upon Imdat's insistence that she take her kidney, Meliha agreed.

"We shared a husband, and now we shared a kisney," she reportedly said.

She added that she has her husband and Imdat to thank for completely changing her life. Imdat on her part has promised to continue taking care of Meliha after the surgery.

He donates organ to brother, if he stops cheering for rival team

2. A man donates an organ to his brother, but only if he stops cheering for rival team

How far will you go in support of your favourite sports team?

For retired management consultant Martin Warburton, 50, it meant giving his brother a life-saving cell transplant, on the condition he joined the red devils in supporting Manchester United football club.

His brother, Paul, 59, a retired company director, was a Manchester City fan of 50 years, and had recently been diagnosed with lymphatic leukemia.

To Martin, the transplant was a "perfect chance for (him) to get Paul to stop backing the blues," he joked, which lead to the contract under a red seal.

Besides demanding a life-long allegiance to ManU, the contract also stipulates that Paul repait his house in hues of red and wear mostly red clothes, among many other terms.

"We made a great joke of the contract but he still agreed to sign," Martin said, adding that at the end of the day, he just hopes "it will save his life."

Paul appeared resigned to his end of the bargain, saying that he's grateful for the luck that he and Martin's cells matched, as being related does not guarantee compatibility, but that Martin just "had to be a Reds supporter."

However, in an interview with The Telegraph UK, he made a feeble attempt at getting out of it, claiming that it is "clearly torture", which is banned under the Human Rights Act, he said.

She had a hand for a leg for 3 months

3. She had a hand for a leg for 3 months

Ming Li, 9, had her left hand attached to her right leg for three months, after a accident with a tractor last year.

Ming Li was run over by a tractor on her way to school in July, severing her left hand.

When she was sent to the hospital, doctors there felt that her hand was too badly damaged to reattach it immediately, so they decided to attach it to her right leg while it healed.

After three months at a hospital in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, the hand was transferred back onto her arm.

Doctors say she can now move her wrist and the hand is a healthy pink colour, which indicated the blood circulation is in good order.

According to Orange News, she will need two more operations to return more hand functions and remove the scars.

Her doctors are optimistic about her recovery prospects, even going so far as to say she may even be able to drive a car in the future.

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Man cuts of transplanted penis because wife disapproves

4. Man cuts of transplanted penis because wife disapproves

In 2006, Chinese doctors performed the first successful penis transplant from a donor to another live patient.

The 44-year-old unnamed man's penis was damaged beyond repair in an accident a year before, leaving him with a centimeter-long stump. He could neither urinate or have sexual intercourse with it.

After the land-mark operation, performed by Dr Hu Weilie of the Guangzhou General Hospital, the organ was working well, had a good supply of blood, and showed no signs of being rejected by the body.

The organ had been donated by the parents of a 22-year-old brain dead man.

However, two weeks later, the man came back to have the organ removed. Why? Because according to medical reports, he and his wife suffered a "severe psychological problem" after the operation.

According to reports, both the patient and his wife strongly demanded that it be cut off, even after repeated discussions.

"The patient finally decided to give up the treatment because of the wife’s psychological rejection, as well as the swollen shape of the transplanted penis,” Hu added.

Man donates kidney to favourite cashier

5. Man donates kidney to favourite cashier

When social worker Dan Coyne noticed that his favourite cashier at the grocery store he had shopped in for over 18 years was getting thinner and paler, he asked whether she was alright.

She was no. She had suffered kidney failure and was on dialysis eight hours a night, and in a constant state of exhaustion.

After he heard her story, he did something unbelievably generous - he offered to donate one of his kidney's to her, a almost stranger.

Myra de la Vega did not know how serious her condition was, but was hoping that her sister would turn out to be a good match for a transplant.

When tests came out negative, Coyne insisted on being tested. He was a match.

"It gives me chills because of his generosity," de la Vega told WGN-TV.

The operation was a success and touched by the amazing story, the school Coyne worked in decided to declare a "Dan Coyne Day", for students to learn to take after Coyne's act of generousity.

Woman saved by fecal transplant from husband

6. Woman saved by fecal transplant from husband

A woman suffering from refractory Clostridium difficile, a dangerous bacterium infection responsible for at least 5,000 deaths each year in the US, was saved when her doctor transplanted a piece of her husband's excrement into her colon.

The patient was wasting away, having lost over 25kg in a span of eight months, from constant diarrhea which had left her in wheelchair bound in diapers.

The docor tried antibiotics, but nothing worked, until he thought of a transplant.

However, he didn't give her a part of an intestine, stomach or any organ. He used her husband's poo.

The treatment was so successful that her medical condition, which causes severe diarrhea, was completely cured and has not returned since.

Performed by Dr Alexander Khoruts, a gastroenterologist, the procedure works by populating the sufferer's colon with essential colonic bacteria.

Before the transplant, the patient's gut flora was in a dismal state, with her colon colonised by a variety of 'misfits', without any normal bacteria. After the transplant, her husband's microbes had taken over, normalising the baterium community in her gut.

Woman receives womb from own mother

7. Woman receives womb from own mother

Sarah Ottosson, 25, from Stockholm, Sweden, was born without a womb due to a rare genetic disorder.

However, if surgeons are successful in an operation slated for this year, she could become the first woman to giev birth to a baby using the same womb she was conceived from.

According to a BBC News report, she is to undergo an experimental procedure to have her mother's uterus transplanted into her.

Ottosson's 56-year-old mother is a willing donor, saying that it is the only way her daughter can have a child by herself.

Ottosson condition is called Mayer Rokitanksy Kuster Hauser syndrome, which is a rare genetic disorder characterised by an undeveloped or absent vagina, and an absent uterus.

While it is not the first attempt by doctors to transplant a uterus, none of the previous attempts have lead to successful pregnancies.

The surgery procedure is very complicated, doctors say, involving connecting tiny blood bessels from the ovaries to the transplanted uterus.

And even after surgery, the transplanted uterus may not be able to stretch and deliver enough blood to sustain life, doctors say.\

However, if the transplant is successful, it has mindblowing implications for medical advancement, where in the future, it may be possible for the full transplant of female reproductive organs into, for example, a transgender candidate.

Husband demands kidney back from cheating wife

8. Husband demands kidney back from cheating wife

Richard Batista, a doctor practising in Long Island, US, was understandably outraged when he was delivered divorce papers from his wife.

Not only had she cheated on him with another man, eight years ago, he had donated one of his kidneys to her.

The operation had been a success, but the generous gift did not manage to save their marriage.

His wife, Dawnell, repaid him by sleeping with her physical therapist.

The couple, who married in 1990, had originally had a happy marriage, before it turned shaky due to Dawnell's condition.

Batista decided to donate a kidney to her, in part to save her life and also to save the marriage.

However, the marriage after the transplant lasted only another four years, where things deteriorated to a bitter custody battle over their three daughters.

Now the heart broken doctor is demanding that his ex-wife fork out US$1.5 million (S$1.88 million) for the organ he donated.

Teen's blood type changes after transplant

9. Teen's blood type changes after transplant

Demi-Lee Brennan is a one-in-six-billion oddity.

The 15-year-old had a liver transplant about a decade ago. Back then, her blood type was a o-negative.

Imagine her surprise when after her body adopted the immune system of her organ's donor, her blood type changed to O-positive.

This means that she no longer needs immunosuppressant drugs to stop her body from rejecting the organ.

Her case is being dubbed as a 'miracle' by doctors, who say it may lead the way to understanding how to beat organ rejection.

This is a far cry from when Demi-Lee was first diagnosed with liver failure from a virus which destroyed the organ. Doctors then gave her just 48 hours to live.

While transplant patients are usually matched to donors of the same blood group, Demi-Lee's condition was so desperate that doctors decided to transplant the mismatched organ into her.

Ten months after the operation, she developed life-threatening anaemia, where stem cells from the donor organ was observed to be taking over her bone marrow. Soon, her blood type made the switch.

Woman has had three hearts, going strong

10. Woman has had three hearts, still going strong

23-year-old Debbie Ward from Belchford in Lincolnshire has already undergone three heart operations, but is still going strong.

Debbie was born without a tricuspid valve, which keeps blood flowing in the right direction. She had her first heart transplant when she was just 15 months old.

After the transplant, she appeared healthy and was extremely active as a child.

However, in beginning 2004, she suddenly collapsed with chest pains on the school bus. Her heart was failing, and doctors were stumped as to why the arteries were starting to clog up and gristle was forming on it.

Debbie underwent her second heart transplant in February 2004. After being in intensive care for three weeks, her condition steadily improved.

Today, her mother Dinah, 59, says her daughter has bounced back well. Debbie told reporters that her experience has inspired her to work towards becoming a paediatric nurse.

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