Lew and Gert

If you or a loved one are considering a living-donor kidney transplant and have concerns about age, just ask Lew and Gert about their experience.

Lew Pryor, 74, underwent a living-donor kidney transplant in April 2019. His wife, Gert Morrissey-Pryor, 64, was his living donor.

“When living donation came knocking at my door, I had to step up,” said Gert.

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Benefits of Living Donation

Lew was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease in May 2011. Over the next few years, Lew and Gert worked with his doctors to manage the disease. However, in March 2018, Gert saw that her husband’s health was declining.

Lew was placed on the kidney transplant waiting list and learned it would take about seven years for him to get a kidney. That’s when Lew and Gert began to discuss the living donation option.

They learned that living-donor kidney transplantation has many benefits including quicker recovery times, improved long-term outcomes, and little to no time on the transplant waiting list.

When Lew decided that living donation was his best option, Gert began the evaluation process at UPMC to see if she would be a compatible donor. “I would have walked through fire to save my husband’s life,” said Gert.

Who Can be a Living Organ Donor?

To be a living donor, you must have an unselfish reason for wanting to help a friend, loved one, or stranger. Living donors can include family members, spouses, friends, neighbors, or coworkers.

Potential living donors should be:

  • Between the ages of 18 and 75
  • In good general health and have no history of:
    • Heart or kidney disease
    • Diabetes
    • HIV
    • Cancers or other diseases that could complicate the surgery

Life After a Living-Donor Kidney Transplant

Thanks to the expertise of UPMC’s kidney transplant team, Lew got back to doing what he loves most: landscaping his yard to perfection and improving his golf game one stroke at a time.

“Do everything you can to live your life and take care of yourself, because we are worth that effort,” said Gert. “To anyone considering living donation as an option: Consider UPMC for your transplant team.”

For more information on living-donor kidney transplantation at UPMC, visit our website.

Gert and Lew’s treatment and results may not be representative of all similar cases.

About Transplant Services

For more than four decades, UPMC Transplant Services has been a leader in organ transplantation. Our clinicians have performed more than 20,000 organ transplant procedures, making UPMC one of the foremost organ transplant centers in the world. We are home to some of the world’s foremost transplant experts and take on some of the most challenging cases. Through research, we have developed new therapies that provide our patients better outcomes — so organ recipients can enjoy better health with fewer restrictions. Above all, we are committed to providing compassionate, complete care that can change – and save – our patients’ lives. Visit our website to find a provider near you.