Alabamians’ Waiting Times for Organ Transplants the Longest in the Country

According to a new study, Alabamians have to be the most patient when waiting for their organ transplants.

Dr. Michael Hanaway, from UAB’s Division of Transplantation, has recently stated that kidney disease was very prevalent in Alabama. In turn, there are many patients on dialysis and a significant number of those waiting for a kidney transplant.

The study has found that last year (2018), 30.6% of Alabamians on the waitlist have been on it for more than five years. Another finding has shown that around 5,800 patients in the U.S. had passed away before they could receive their transplants.

Hanaway has explained the statistic by saying that the number of those with unhealthy kidneys in Alabama impacts the number of potential donors. The fewer people there are without kidney disease, the fewer organs are there to choose from.

One of the affected Alabamians is Verna Johnson. She knows just how long the wait can be as she has lost a loved one because of it. Her sister was on the waitlist as she suffered from kidney disease. She was on it for eleven years before she passed away in 2015. As Johnson said, shorter waitlists would mean more lives saved.

Verna herself suffers from kidney disease as well. She has been waiting for an organ transplant for more than a year now.

As Johnson stated, she hopes her outcome will not be the same as her sister’s. Hoping to find a donor more promptly, she has started a campaign “Vera Needs a Kidney.”

A donor is yet to appear.

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