Episode Overview: Transplanting Hope (02:23)
A transplant is the only hope for an infant born with a defective heart. An organ shortage means that new patients have to wait months, and sometimes even years, for a transplant. Can scientists find new solutions to the organ crisis?
Lee Gets New Lungs (03:57)
Lee Sanderson gets a new set of lungs after the ones he was born with were scarred by exposure to toxic chemicals. Organ donor Alex Reyda gives one last gift after dying of a brain aneurysm. There are 116,000 people waiting for organ transplants in the United States, and 20 die each day while waiting for the organs they need.
Heart Transplant (09:32)
Newborn Harlow Bergen was born with a fatal heart defect and needs a transplant. Her parents must weigh their options and consider possible complications. Nurse Karen Elgert oversees the search for a donor, and Dr. Ivan Rekya performs the surgery.
Preserving Hearts Longer (04:56)
More than 60 percent of all donated hearts are not used for transplants because too much time has passed since the donor’s death. Surgeons Jayan Nagendran and Darren Freed hope a new ex vivo machine they have developed will help; it keeps hearts warm and oxygenated instead of storing them on ice.
Family Donation Decision (07:27)
The Babchishchin family awaits news on 28-year-old Matthew, who is in a coma after suffering a serious brain injury. They decide to take him off of life support and must decide whether to donate his organs.
Liver Transplant (06:20)
A quarter of surgeon James Shapiro’s patients will die waiting for organs, with some waiting for years for certain blood types. Pat Fisher undergoes a difficult liver transplant and recovery.
Rebuilding Organs (04:50)
Doris Taylor and her team at the Texas Heart Institute are taking a new approach to addressing the shortage. They salvage cadaveric organs by stripping them down to the extracellular matrix and infusing them with stem cells to grow new tissue. These refurbished organs are not yet ready for transplant but may one day save many lives.
Family Donates Organs (08:31)
Willis Wood’s heart began to fail eight months ago, and he is kept alive by an external pump that circulates his blood. Meanwhile, Matthew Babchishchin’s family decides to donate organs that will save lives.
Surgical Outcomes (03:59)
Babchishchin’s body is rushed to surgery. Wood undergoes a successful heart transplant. Fisher continues to struggle with liver issues, but Harlow Bergen is a healthy toddler.
Credits: Transplanting Hope (00:60)
Credits: Transplanting Hope
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