Learn how one UPMC neurosurgeon turned to social media to find his own kidney donor.

Dr. Adnan Abla spent his life taking care of others. After nearly 20 years as a neurosurgeon at UPMC Presbyterian, he never imagined that he would one day become a patient.

One night, following a long day of taking care of patients, Adnan woke up with severe abdominal pain. He was admitted to UPMC Passavant where doctors found three clots in the artery connected to his small intestine. He was immediately rushed into emergency surgery. His doctors inserted eight stents into his heart, but the medication he needed to keep his heart healthy was causing his kidneys to fail.


 

Working for UPMC, Adnan knew that a living-donor kidney transplant was an option, but he needed to find a donor. During a living-donor kidney transplant, a transplant surgeon will remove a healthy kidney from the donor and transplant it into the person with the failing kidney.

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While Adnan began his search for a donor, a woman named Candace McClure saw a young boy in need of a kidney transplant on Facebook. Having a daughter around the same age and knowing she’d want someone to help her child, she was evaluated to be a living donor.

“Luckily, the boy had other people evaluated to donate to him and a few of those people were suitable donors so I was asked if I would donate to someone else, and I said yes,” said Candace.

During a non-directed living-donor kidney transplant, potential donors are evaluated and matched with the person on the waiting list who is the most appropriate medical match. Luckily for Adnan, Candace was determined to be a compatible donor, and they underwent a successful living-donor kidney transplant on May 16, 2017.

RELATED: Your Living Transplant: 3 Steps to Finding a Donor

Since then, Candace and Adnan have both made a full recovery and are doing great.

Candace and Adan keep in touch and he even sends her daughter birthday presents.

“My life hasn’t changed much at all, except I have more people in my family now,” Candace said.

As for Adnan, he said, “It’s unbelievable, like day and night. My whole life changed.”

Adnan and Candace’s results may not be representative of all similar cases.

 

About Transplant Services

Established in 1981, UPMC Transplant Services is one of the foremost organ transplant centers in the world. Our clinicians have performed more than 20,000 organ transplant procedures, including liver, kidney, pancreas, single and double lung, heart, and more. We are home to some of the world’s foremost transplant experts and have a long history of developing new antirejection therapies—so organ recipients can enjoy better health with fewer restrictions.