From the first kidney transplant that took place in 1973 to the present day 4,000th, Florida Hospital Transplant Institute continues to transform the lives of those patients in our community who are critically ill and in need of a lifesaving organ transplant. Specializing in kidney, kidney/pancreas, heart and liver transplants, Florida Hospital has been pivotal for patients like Toby Grimes, 38, who was diagnosed with
Type 1 diabetes at the age of 21. In addition to the Type 1 diabetes, Grimes was born with a very unique situation: he had collagen in his kidney that didn't allow it to filter properly.
To manage both of these issues, Grimes had to check his blood sugar six times a day, even while he was sleeping. He set an alarm for every two hours during the night to wake-up and make sure his blood sugar was not too low. Because of the kidney issues, he's been on dialysis for three days per week, for four hours each day.
Grimes never considered himself a candidate for a kidney transplant because he thought the Type 1 diabetes would just damage his newly transplanted kidney. But then he learned about the possibility of a kidney and pancreas transplant at the same time that would solve his kidney and Type 1 diabetes issues.
Dr. Bobby Nibhanupudy, medical director of abdominal transplant at the Florida Hospital Transplant Institute, led the team that performed Grimes' transplant.
"Florida Hospital's kidney/pancreas transplant procedure involves a single donor where both organs are transplanted to a patient suffering from kidney failure due to Type 1 diabetes," said Dr. Nibhanupudy. "We really felt strongly that Toby was a good candidate for this procedure."
After undergoing the procedure just two months ago, Grimes is no longer a diabetic. He can now sleep through the night with no worries of having to check his sugar levels or spend three days a week on dialysis.
"I'm very grateful to have had this procedure, I now have a future to look forward to," Grimes said.
"Having a local facility where he could receive pre- and post-transplant treatment for the rest of his life played a major role in Toby's recovery," said Dr. Uday Desai, medical director of the pancreas transplant program at the Florida Hospital Transplant Institute and Grimes' nephrologist. "Now his body is responding very positively to these new organs and his prognosis is very good."
Completing 4,000 organ transplants is a significant milestone for the Florida Hospital Transplant Institute.
A program that has completed that many transplants shows it has a multidisciplinary team of skilled physicians and staff dedicated to improving and extending the lives approximately 250 transplant patients each year.