The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York set a record in 2023, performing 40 heart transplants at Strong Memorial Hospital. This represents an 82% increase from the 22 transplants conducted in 2022. Denise Champagne, a heart recipient, shared her experience, stating that she had five open-chest surgeries, including her recent transplant in March. Dr. Katherine Wood, a cardiac transplant surgeon, highlighted the challenges of performing surgery on Champagne due to heavy scarring from previous surgeries but praised the outstanding outcome. Champagne expressed gratitude to the transplant team and the heart donor, emphasizing that she now has a future to look forward to.
Despite this achievement, there remains a significant need for donors, with over 500 individuals awaiting heart, liver, kidney, or pancreas transplants at Strong Memorial. URMC encourages individuals aged 16 and older to enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry online, at the Department of Motor Vehicles, while registering to vote, or through UR Medicine’s portal. This highlights the importance of organ donation in saving lives and emphasizes the ongoing demand for organ transplants in the region.