Kidney transplant canceled due to flights canceled

Wednesday, September 12th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A transplant operation on Tuesday was to be the end of kidney dialysis treatments for 49-year-old Lee Hutson.

But the surgery was canceled when the Federal Aviation Administration grounded all aircraft because of terrorist acts in New York and Washington, D.C.

``I was pumped up and charged,'' Hutson said, when he got word that a kidney would be available. He was scheduled to receive a kidney from a donor in Portland, Ore.

At 6 a.m., he was at St. Anthony Hospital undergoing dialysis in preparation for the surgery.

``I just had a bad feeling about this after this morning,'' said Samantha Mitchell, recovery coordinator for the Oklahoma Organ Sharing Network.

The Organ Sharing Network aids in the recovery and transportation of transplant organs.

``I knew that the kidney was to be flown out of Portland to Dallas and then on to us, but around 9 a.m. I found out about the grounding,'' said Mitchell.

``I hoped the plane would make it to Dallas and we would bring it in by ground. But it was still close enough to Portland that the plane just turned around and flew back to Portland rather than continuing on.''

He has endured dialysis treatments three times a week for the past three years, and has been on the transplant list for two years. Hutson has been put back on the transplant list.

This kidney was a perfect match for him, Mitchell said.

``The chances for him getting a perfect match is unknown but it doesn't happen very often,'' she said.

Mitchell said the kidney was used for a patient in the Portland area.

For Hutson, whose kidneys have shut down due to diabetes, not getting the transplant was a letdown.

``This is like telling a kid he is getting an ice cream cone and then, when it is almost to him, you take it away,'' he said.