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Doctors at Ohio State use baby's kidneys to save woman on transplant list

A rare transplant procedure that uses pediatric donors is proving successful in giving some who have been waiting years for a transplant, the gift of life.

Surgeons at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Comprehensive Transplant Center performed a rare, en-bloc kidney transplant.

The procedure includes taking the kidneys from a pediatric donor under the age of 5 and then implanting them into the adult recipient.

Susan Fossmeyer underwent the procedure in March and called it blessing.

“It just says to me I’m going to live to be healthy. I’m going to enjoy life,” Fossmeyer said.

Doctor Amer Rajab, who is the surgical director of OSU Kidney and Pancreas Transplants performed Fossmeyer's transplant. Dr. Rajab said the now small kidneys will grow in size and efficiency.

“When you look at bloodwork, her parameters are already normal. I joke with her and say your number is already better than me and your family number," he said.

This first year is a critical one because of the possibility of rejection.

“I'm on anti-rejection medicines I go for blood testing twice a week Mondays and Tuesdays, “ Fossmeyer said.

There is also a transplant coordinator assigned to her who helps monitor her medications.

Science saved Fossmeyer from dialysis or even worse. She said she is also grateful to the donor family's sacrifice.

“I'm a 38-year educator and children have been my life forever I would just want to say thank you to them...I am committed to taking care of this gift," she said.

You can learn more about becoming a donor by clicking here.

To learn more The Ohio State University Comprehensive Transplant Program, click here.