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Local in patient in ‘life saving’ UK transplant, first in 15 years

A locally based patient has received a ‘life changing’ kidney transplant in the UK, the first of its kind in over 15 years after Gibraltar’s recent inclusion in the UK Organ Donor Register.

The patient, who received a cadaveric renal transplant in the UK has recently returned home to Gibraltar.

Renal transplantation is life changing for patients on dialysis.

For most, transplantation dramatically improves, both, a patient’s quality of life and longevity.

The transplant comes after an agreement between the Gibraltar Health Authority and Hammersmith Hospital in London.

Within the first six months of opening the register to those in Gibraltar some 260 people signed-up to the register.

“A lot of work goes into working patients up to ensure they are suitable to receive a kidney transplant,” said GHA Consultant Nephrologist and Physician Dr Simon Lines.

“This involves a ‘Multi- Disciplinary Team’ approach and close and continued liaison with the Hammersmith Hospital, which is where our patients are listed. Once the patient receives a transplant call, a number of time critical protocols are followed to ensure the patient arrives at the tertiary centre within a suitable timeframe to receive the kidney.”

“Due to the hard work and dedication of the Sponsored Patient team at the GHA, the patient actually arrived in London before the kidney did. I would like to take this opportunity to wholeheartedly thank everyone involved in the process.”

The GHA’s Medical Director Dr Daniel Cassaglia said he was “very proud” that via the “close clinical links” with leading specialist centres that patients can access some of the most advanced treatments available.

“We continue to build these links, ensuring that our patients can receive an unprecedented number of specialist treatments both in Gibraltar and with our partners abroad,” Dr Cassaglia said.

Every viable donor has the potential to donate eight organs and save eight lives.

When a viable donor in Gibraltar is found the process to retrieve an organ could take up to 24 hours. After the organ is retrieved they would be immediately returned to the UK.

“This is a wonderful example of dedicated professionals, both within the GHA and at specialist centres, working together for the good of our patients,” said the Minister for Health Neil Costa.

“I would like to sincerely thank Dr Lines and all those members of staff, such as our excellent Sponsored Patients Department, who, in one way or another, contributed to the treatment and seamless transfer of the patient.”

“This is also a great example of the huge positive impact organ donations can have on people’s lives. To become an organ donor is a very personal choice, and I would urge anyone interested in doing so, or anyone who simply wishes to gather more information on this subject, to visit the NHS’s Organ Donation website.”

Gibraltar residents can record their desire to become an organ donor after death, by signing up to the UK Organ Donor Register at or by calling 0044 300 123 23 23.

After you submit your registration, the Organ Donation team will have a record of your wishes.

It is advised that after registration, it is also important to make your wishes known to your family members so they can support you in making the gift oflife after your death.

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