A single kidney that was transplanted twice in two weeks is working fine after what appears to be the first-ever case of doctors salvaging a hand-me-down organ after it started to fail.
Erwin Gomez, a 67-year-old Chicago-area surgeon and father of five, is the third and, hopefully, final owner of the kidney, which was transplanted last June 16 -- and again on June 30 -- at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
It originally came from Cera Fearing, a 21-year-old day care worker from Elk Grove, Ill., who donated the organ in hopes of helping her big brother.
“The whole point of giving it was to give him a new life,” she said.
Instead, Ray Fearing, 27, of Arlington Heights, learned within days of receiving Cera’s kidney that the organ was failing, attacked by a reoccurence of his longtime disorder, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, or FSGS, a common kidney disease in which scar tissue develops on the part of the kidney that filters waste from the blood.