Methodist Healthcare System | Keeping Well | Winter 2020

WomanLearns of RareKidneyMatch for TransplantWhileOut at Sea A San Antonio patient is grateful for the team of people who helped her get a kidney transplant even though she was on cruise in the Gulf of Mexico when the hospital found her a rare perfect match. Melissa Flores almost skipped the family trip because she was put on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. Three days into the cruise, Methodist Hospital | Specialty and Transplant matched Melissa to a kidney that was a perfect match for her. “It’s rare to find a perfect match kidney for a transplant recipient, especially for one who is highly sensitized from a previous kidney trans- plant and is in need of another opportunity,” said Dr. Luke Shen , a transplant surgeon at Methodist Hospital | Specialty and Transplant. Melissa’s nurses at the El Milagro Dialysis Center in Austin knew Melissa was on a cruise, and they were determined to find her. In a race against the clock, they called Carnival Cruise Line to track her down. The ship’s staff paged Melissa several times. Her family members heard the an- nouncement and rushed her to guest services so she could call the hospital. “The team did everything possible to get her off the ship as quickly as possible. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Captain Carlo Aquilone increased Carnival Dream’s speed to arrive at the Port of Galveston early. That’s when our guest services team took over, expediting Melissa’s de- barkation, so she and her husband could make the four-hour drive to Methodist Hospital | Specialty and Transplant in San Antonio,” said a Carnival Cruise Line spokesperson. “We are extremely proud of the efforts of these incredible employ- ees who give new meaning to the Dream Team.” Melissa arrived at Methodist Hospital | Specialty and Transplant, where Shen was waiting for her in the emergency department. The staff knew the limited time constraints in these cases and worked to get her through the ER, pre-op, labs, and into surgery. “The surgery was a success, and Melissa is do- ing very well off of dialysis,” said Shen. Methodist Hospital | Specialty and Transplant is nationally recognized for its kidney trans- plant program. For more information, visit: . Community Shows Compassion, Support for Grieving ParentsWith Cuddle Cot Donation The San Antonio community is showing compassion for grieving parents with donations of Cuddle Cots to Methodist Healthcare hospitals. A Cuddle Cot is a cooled bassinet that slows down the body’s decomposing process and allows parents to keep a deceased infant at bedside if the fam- ily desires. Cuddle Cots give parents days with their stillborn instead of just hours. The Kann family of San An- tonio donated one Cuddle Cot each to Methodist Children’s Hospital, Methodist Hospital | Metropolitan, and Methodist Hospital | Stone Oak. The San Antonio chapter of Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support donated two Cud- dle Cots to Methodist Children’s Hospital. A nonprofit organization, Share serves those whose lives are touched by the tragic death of a baby through pregnancy loss, stillbirth or in the first few months of life. Local co-founders and co-facilitators are Lauren VandeBerg and Andrea Riedel. “Cuddle Cots give parents time with their babies that they will never have again,” said VandeBerg, who lost two children herself and has had three mis- carriages. “Cuddle cots also allow time for family from out of town to see the baby and grieve. The use of Cuddle Cots has been proven to psychologically help parents through the grieving process.” The Kann family is using the Cuddle Cots to turn their grief into comfort for others. Dr. Will and Kristen Kann lost their baby Penny Mae in May 2019. Her body was put into a Cuddle Cot that another grieving family had left at the hospital for use by other families. “The time that I got with the Cuddle Cot was the only time that I had,” Dr. Kann said. “It was really the difference between having some time and having no time.” Inspired by their daughter, the Penny Mae Project was born. The couple used donations to purchase 10 Cuddle Cots for area hospitals. “We’re trying to show how much love we have for other people who are going through this so that they know they are not alone,” said Mrs. Kann. For more information on Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support, visit . Lauren VandeBerg and Andrea Riedel with Share (center) and the Dr. Will Kann family (to the left) present Cuddle Cots to the Women’s Services staff at Methodist Children’s Hospital. Melissa and Sam Flores were cruising in the Gulf of Mexico when they learned Methodist Hospital | Specialty and Transplant had found a per- fect match for Melissa’s kidney transplant. Quick response from the cruise line and the hospital staff resulted in a lifesaving transplant. 6 K E E P I N G W E L L   W I N T E R 2 0 2 0 N E W S , V I E W S & T I P S H E A L T H T A L K