Fort Worth Resident Receives Kidney on Birthday, Makes Hospital History
Texas Health Fort Worth celebrates program's 1,000th kidney transplant.

Richard Combs couldn’t have asked for a better gift. At 2 p.m. on his birthday, a transplant coordinator at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth notified him to prepare for surgery.

Combs, a 69-year-old Fort Worth resident, had been on the hospital’s waiting list for a donor kidney since February.

“My family laughed and joked about what a nice gift it would be if I got a kidney on my birthday,” he said. “They were so happy when it happened!”

Texas Health Fort Worth staff and clinicians are celebrating right alongside Combs — his kidney transplant procedure marks the 1000th performed by the program, which began in 1986 when Dr. Robert Sloane completed the first transplant. 

More than 101,000 people in the U.S. are on the waiting list for a kidney transplant, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Less than 17,000 people receive one each year.

“Texas Health Fort Worth has helped pioneer kidney transplantation services in Tarrant County,” said Dr. Tariq Khan, surgical director of the program who performed Combs’ procedure. “We are committed to providing the full continuum of care to patients with end-stage renal disease, including life-saving transplantation surgery.”

The kidney transplant program at Texas Health Fort Worth cares for patients with end-stage renal disease by evaluating whether a kidney transplant is safe and beneficial, providing guidance on donor options and placing the patient on a waiting list if qualified. Once a donor kidney is available, the patient is quickly notified to prepare for surgery.

During recovery patients are monitored closely. The transplant team stays connected with the patient to answer questions and counsel them on physical activity, nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices for the best possible transplant outcome.

“From the transplant coordinators to the surgical team and the ICU nurses, I’m very pleased with my care at Texas Health Fort Worth,” said Combs. “This surgery is a blessing.”

Visit Kidney Transplant Program for more information.

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