Giving, Organ Donation

10 Pioneering Medical Transplants

One deceased organ donor can save as many as eight lives between organ and tissue transplants possible.  On Wednesday 10/10/18, asks New Yorkers to “Unleash Your Inner Hero” and sign up for organ donation.  This is especially urgent in the Empire State, since it is 50th out of 50 states in percentage of registered organ donors at a paltry thirty-three percent.  Here’s a list of ten Pioneering Medical Transplants – the genesis of real life heroism.   

1665 The First Recorded Successful Blood Transfusion

It was in the 17th century the earliest known blood transfusion is attempted.  In 1628 English physician William Harvey discovered blood circulation. Not long after, the earliest known blood transfusion is attempted.  In England in 1665, the first recorded successful blood transfusion was performed, but not on humans. Man’s best friend really earned its name by being the test subject for this life saving procedure.  Physician Richard Lower kept dogs alive by transfusing blood from other dogs.

More than fifty years later,the first successful blood transfusion of human blood was performed in 1818 by Dr. James Blundell to treat postpartum hemorrhage. Blood types were not discovered for another 82 years, but once they were, doctors began developing blood typing and cross matching between donors and patients to improve the safety of transfusions. The universality of the O blood group was identified in 1907.  Later discoveries, including sodium citrate for use as an anticoagulant, the Rh blood group, and plastic implements for collection and storage of blood greatly improved the thirty day survival rate of patients post transfusion.

1838 First Corneal Transplant

This was actually the first successful human organ transplant.  Corneal transplantation, also known as keratoplasty, is the only therapeutic procedure for many disorders of the cornea that can lead to blindness. It can also benefit patients with infection, pain or perforation of the cornea.  In fact, in 1838 the first corneal transplant in a human was performed using a cornea from a pig was grafted into a human recipient. It remained transparent for a couple of weeks. Richard Kissam reported this years before the invention of anaesthesia!  

In successive years, more partial thickness transplants were performed.  The first “full-thickness” corneal transplant in a human being happened in 1906.  This is the transplant that paved the way for the growth of the procedure and the opening of eye banks in different countries to perform them. As immunosuppression medications improved, failure rate for corneal transplantation has lowered, with approximately twenty-five percent of corneas being lost by four to five years post transplant.

1954 First Successful Human Kidney Transplant

The first documented successful kidney transplants were experiments performed on animals in 1902 at the Vienna Medical School in Austria.  Then, in 1933 the first human-to-human kidney transplant was performed, but the donor kidney never functioned because doctors were unaware that mismatches in donor and recipient blood groups were problematic in the procedure.  Indeed, what made the 1954 transplant successful was that it the donor and recipient were identical twins. It was performed by a team headed by Joseph E. Murray at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Because their organs were indistinguishable to each other’s immune systems, no immunosuppressive medication was necessary.

While advances in kidney transplantation were happening, there were other developments being perfected that helped keep renal failure patients alive.  Kidney dialysis was keeping patients alive by using an artificial kidney to purify human blood, which is what normal functioning kidneys do every day. Nonetheless, surgeons charged ahead, developing a surgical procedure that would not only place a new kidney in the patient, but connect all the necessary tubes and blood vessels, and improving immunosuppression upon accurately understanding why our bodies fight off foreign organs.

1956 The First Successful Bone Marrow Transplant

In the early nineteen hundreds, doctors made the first ever attempt to treat patients with a donor’s bone marrow. However, this treatment was unsuccessful, as the bone marrow was given by mouth. The first successful transplant was again between  identical twins. It was performed by Dr E Donnall Thomas in New York. The patient, who had leukaemia, first had radiotherapy and then was given the healthy bone marrow.

Two years later, in November 1958, French oncologist and immunologist Dr. Georges Mathé performs a human bone marrow transplant using bone marrow from donors who were not related to their recipients.  The six patients were Yugoslav engineers who were irradiated at different levels after a nuclear reactor incident. Later, researchers discover bone marrow contains at least two kinds of stem cells – blood or haematopoietic stem cells ( these form all the types of blood cells in the body) and stromal stem cells(these form bone, cartilage, fat and connective tissue).

1963 First Lung Transplant

Up until Dr. James Hardy performed the first human lung transplant in 1963, Dr. Hardy and his team had performed about four hundred transplant experiments on dogs at their Jackson, Mississippi.  Repeatedly, although the transplanted lungs seemed to function reasonably well early after transplantation, the dogs ultimately rejected the lungs within a month despite various immunosuppressants available at the time.

The transplant recipient was a 58-year old man who had lung cancer involving the left main airway and obstructing distal airways resulting in lung collapse and recurrent pneumonia.  He was a prison inmate, serving a life sentence. Nonetheless, Dr. Hardy treated his patient with dignity, carefully outlining the potential complications and risks with him in detail.  He agreed to proceed. The donor had been brought to the emergency department because of a massive heart attack resulting in heart failure and shock, and once he passed away, the family consented to the donation. Over the next ten years only 36 lung transplants were performed worldwide and the majority of recipients died within a few days. In 1983, the Toronto Lung Transplant Group performed the first successful lung transplant.  The recipient was another 58-year old man, this one suffering from pulmonary fibrosis. When the group reported their experience in 1986, he was alive and leading a normal lifestyle. This success was remarkably encouraging for pulmonary physicians and patients with lung disease.

1966 First Successful Pancreas Transplant

In December 1966, more than 50 years ago, doctors at the University of Minnesota pioneered the first-ever pancreas transplant. The procedure was performed by surgeons Richard Lillehei and William Kelly. Since then, more than 50,000 pancreas transplants have been performed worldwide, and roughly 30,000 in the United States alone.  University of Minnesota holds the worldwide record, with an impressive 2,300 and counting.

As late as the nineteen nineties, one out of every six type 1 diabetics would not live to see their fortieth birthday. That mortality rate increased if a patient suffered kidney failure, a common complication of type 1 diabetes. Pancreas and kidney transplantation offered a solution.  With improved surgical techniques, new immunosuppressive medications that decreased the chance transplant rejection and more effective antibiotics, success rates greatly improved. One University of Minnesota physician is quoted as saying “Transplantation of a kidney and a pancreas not only improves a patient’s quality of life—making that person insulin and dialysis free—it also has been shown to extend life”.  Modern medicine: one, Premature death: nil!

1967 First Successful Liver Transplant

It was Thomas E. Starzl, M.D., Ph.D., FAAP (Hon.) who performed this groundbreaking surgery.  He lived to be 90 years old and passed away in 2017. He conducted the procedure at University of Colorado  in Denver, where he was serving as professor and chair of surgery. He is also credited with performing the first successful pediatric liver transplant. Starzl attempted the first human  liver transplant in 1963, but a successful liver transplant was not achieved until 1967. In 1970 survival rates were dismal—approximately fifteen percent at the one-year follow-up. The discovery of the immunosuppressive drug cyclosporine in the early 1980s led to improvements in rejection rates, and soon liver transplantation became a more viable treatment.

Living liver donation is possible because of the liver’s remarkable capacity to regenerate.  It only takes about one week to regenerate back to it’s full size after a portion of it has been removed.  Also, when transplanted, the liver can regenerate to suit the size of its new host. In the few cases where baboon livers have been transplanted into people, they quickly grow to the size of a human liver.

1988 First Successful Intestinal Transplant

Although experiments were being conducted in the early 20th century, intestinal transplantation has only recently become a viable clinical procedure. As the largest lymphoid organ in the body and host to a multitude of foreign antigens, the small bowel has presented a challenge throughout the history of organ transplants. In 1902, French Nobel laureate Alexis Carrel performs experiments in which intestinal segments are implanted in the necks of dogs.  Man’s best friend comes through yet again!

In the 1960s Initial attempts at intestinal transplantation are suspended due to poor graft and patient survival. Of eight human intestinal recipients recorded during this period, none survived; this was due to ineffective immunosuppressive drugs.  Patients transplanted in Kiel, Germany in 1988 and in Paris, France in 1989 became the first long-term survivors with sufficient graft function. Also in 1988, in London, Ontario the first successful combined liver-intestinal graft was performed. The recipient lived several years after.

1999 First Successful Hand Transplant Performed in the United States

Surgeons in Louisville, Kentucky, performed the first successful hand transplant in the United States.  The surgery replaced the left hand of a New Jersey man with one taken from an unidentified donor who had died a few hours earlier.  The 15-hour operation was performed at Louisville Jewish Hospital. The first hand transplant was carried out in Ecuador in 1964. It failed after two weeks when the recipient’s body rejected the donor hand. At the time only crude anti-rejection therapy was available.

As of 2017, there have been approximately 100 hands transplanted on more than 60 patients around the world. A hand transplant, unlike a solid organ transplant, involves multiple tissues (skin, muscle, tendon, bone, cartilage, fat, nerves and blood vessels) and is called vascularized composite allotransplantation, or VCA..

2010 First Successful Full Face Transplant

At Barcelona’s Vall d’Hebron hospital, a 31-year-old man received the world’s first successful full face transplant in March 2010.  During the 24-hour surgery, a team of 30 surgeons lifted an entire face, including jaw, nose, cheekbones, muscles, teeth and eyelids, and placed it mask-like on to the man.  The transplant was necessary after the man accidentally shot himself in the face in 2005. Four months after the surgery, the patient spoke at a press conference. Beforehand, he had been unable to breathe or eat on his own. By the time of the press conference, he was able to drink liquids and eat soft foods

The first partial face transplant, was carried out in France in 2005.


Blood Transfusion:

Link 2:

Link 3:

Bone Marrow:

Lung Transplant:

Pancreas Transplant:

Liver Transplant:,,

Intestinal Transplant:,

Hand Transplant:,

Full Face Transplant:




activism, Giving, Organ Donation

Unleashing My Inner Hero #DonorDay2018

Live On NY is holding it’s 4th annual Organ Donor Enrollment Day.  the theme is Unleash Your Inner Hero.  Indeed, I am unleashing my inner hero, although with a great deal of humility and a commitment to improving other people’s lives who have a need greater than any that I have.  inner hero.png

I found a great spot, too!  Berkeley Drugs on the corner of Kings Highway and Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn has been a mainstay in the community I grew up in.  As a kid, I used to go there, sometimes with my grandma to pick up prescriptions.  I bought holiday and birthday cards there for my loved ones with my saved up money.  When I played sports in high school I went there for Ace bandages and ice packs, and at age sixteen, in an exasperated attempt to do away with excess fat for once and for all, I bought weight loss shake mix there.


Having a chance to actually go back to my community to do some good work – raise awareness about organ donation and get people signed up to help close the gap – is exciting!  I plan to also go to my elementary school to visit and bring sign up forms and a poster so faculty and staff there can get on the list as well.  If you cannot come in person, click here to sign up online as a donor.

Please reach out to volunteer, a few hours or all day, or to support in any other way.  If you’d like to help out with some money, you can fund my PayPal at

Also please share this article with your networks and Support our Event on Facebook.

Use and follow #DonorDay2018

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 8: Bless Others
Devotional, eating, food, Giving, God's word, health, Healthy, Weight Loss

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 8: Bless Others

Making it to 8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 8: Bless Others is a milestone!  Obviously you are on a kingdom agenda.  Many would not go this route to improving themselves, but you did.  Why did you choose this road?  Because it wasn’t just about how you look.  It was about your mandate as a Christian.  It is much harder and a lot less convincing to go and tell the nations about the free gift of salvation if you are visibly and internally unhealthy.

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 8: Bless Others – The Best News Ever! 

After the first 4-6 weeks of applying your fresh, new biblical perspective to your life, you will have results to strengthen

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 8: Bless Others
The Best News EVER!

your testimony.  Now you can share the great news with others.  You can testify to people in your ministry, but also, you can connect your good news with the gospel of salvation outside the church.

Many people are waking up every day and grateful to be in the land of the living, but as we talked about on Day 4, their lives may not be how God intended.  More than 75% of Americans take at least one prescription medication every single day.  Hospitals everywhere in the world are over-populated and under-staffed.  Can you imagine that even Christians are walking around with diseases that they have been told are incurable?  Isn’t that what the doctors told the woman with the issue of blood?

Luke 8:43 (KJV) And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,

She would not take no for an answer.  She pressed through throngs of people, unhindered by the sickness she had endured for 12 years that made her stink.  Her goal was to only touch the hem of His garment.

Luke 8:48 (KJV) And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.

She was healed by her faith.  This woman chased Jesus down because she trusted Him.  The doctors she spent all her money on failed, but God prevailed.  The best news ever is that Jesus died so we could have life and have it more abundantly.  The promise is not just life, existence, seeing another day.  The promise is an abundant life.

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 8: Bless Others – Own Your Testimony

What makes your testimony so important is that you got your answers to your physical and medical problems from scripture.  Your message is vital now, for not only does it show people how to overcome, it also shows them that God has the answers they need.  In fact, much like that woman from Luke 8, many have been dealing for years, even decades, with weight problems, heart, liver or kidney problems, diabetes, depression and other mental illnesses, and autoimmune diseases.  The answers revealed in this devotional address all of these issues.

One thing you can do at this stage is get a check up and blood work, then do it again 6 weeks from now to see what has changed.  Not only will you wow your doctor, but you will also have some science-based evidence to strengthen your testimony.

You are on the hard road now, but owning your testimony will help you continue on your new path.  The more you tell your story, the more you will stay on the road you have embarked upon, because now that you are telling others, they will look to you as an example.  Just as you sought a support system on Day 5, you will be a source of support and encouragement for others now.

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 8: Bless Others – Give

Here are some more great things YOU can do to bless others:

  • Be someone’s war counsel.  God is so sweet, He has a perfectly harmonious way of connecting people.  You will start coming into contact with more people who want to do what you are doing.  Be ready to offer support and advice.  Share scriptures and recipes, or bible case studies and shopping advice.  Take someone to lunch at a restaurant with a Really Nourish-friendly menu or invite them over.
  • Offer help in your church.  Car pool members of your church to health food stores and supermarkets they could not normally get to easily.  Run a healthy food drive, or offer to help out with some new, healthier recipes in the soup kitchen.
  • Give.  Give away clean, healthy food of the quality you yourself now adhere to.  Here’s a short article about that.
    8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 8: Bless Others
    My dad and I, one month after our transplant at a Living Donor Meet and Greet event.

    Give money to and/or volunteer time with a food activist organization.

  • Donate. Consider becoming an organ donor.  Now that you have a clean, healthy body, help someone who needs a kidney or liver by being a living donor.  Here’s an article about my experience donating.  Also, check that box on your driver’s license.
  • Get your children involved.  Teach them these principles now, so they never have to go through what you may have gone through in their lives.

In Matthew 25, Jesus told a parable involving a king.  The king says that people saw him in so much need  and  they fed him, took him in, clothed him and took care of him.  The righteous people were puzzled by this.  They asked him something like “when did all this happen?” His reply in verse 40 is “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (NIV).

Be generous with your good fruit.  Bless as many other people as you can with it.

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 8: Bless Others – Scriptures 

In the book of Matthew 25:31-40, 28:16-20

Luke 8:43-48

To return to the 8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devotional page, CLICK HERE.

Giving, God's word, Healthy, Namaste, nourishment, Uncategorized, vegan

#Eat #Give #Love #Live

Today’s lunch from Sun in Bloom made me so grateful that I can access good, clean, nourishing food. Those of us who are so privileged have an obligation to those who are not so blessed. Next time you go shopping, buy a few extra things, pack a little separate bag, and ask God to show you who needs it.

And when they say “thank you”, reply “thank you for accepting it”.  You both participated in serving a higher purpose and neither of you could have completed the mission without the other.