COVID-19 and Transplant Patients

Posted by jolinda @jolinda, Mar 14, 2020

As a kidney transplant recipient I have been extra vigilant/worried about protecting myself as COVID-19 spreads. Like most transplant patients I am used to washing my hands, carrying hand-sanitizer, avoiding sick people, getting flu shots, etc. The COVID-19 outbreak has caused me to take additional steps to try to remain safe but I am worried for my health. I would like to hear what you are doing to stay safe and how you are feeling.

@chattykathy

Hello everyone; I am almost 9 years out from transplant and wanted to wish everyone good thoughts and prayers over all of our situations. I am doing well this far out from transplant and am staying safe. I did not know if the medical pros are still continuing transplant surgery during this difficult time of COVID19. My prayer for all of those who are waiting for transplant is don't give up. I have not been on this page in a long time and just dropped in to check it out once again. I will be praying for all of the world as I have been since the COVID19 outbreak.

Jump to this post

Hi @chattykathy, so good to hear from you again and kind of you to check in during this challenging time. You'll notice that I moved your message to this exiting discussion called "COVID-19 and Transplant Patients" that's bringing everyone together.

It sounds like you are managing well. How is the weather where you are? Are you able to get out into a yard or garden? How are you spending your time?

REPLY
@chattykathy

Hello everyone; I am almost 9 years out from transplant and wanted to wish everyone good thoughts and prayers over all of our situations. I am doing well this far out from transplant and am staying safe. I did not know if the medical pros are still continuing transplant surgery during this difficult time of COVID19. My prayer for all of those who are waiting for transplant is don't give up. I have not been on this page in a long time and just dropped in to check it out once again. I will be praying for all of the world as I have been since the COVID19 outbreak.

Jump to this post

Here, in Ontario, all transplant surgery has been cancelled except for emergencies. I am so sad for all those waiting for a transplant at this time. I am just over a year post transplant.

REPLY

I would like to share some information that found about transplant surgeries and delays. It is an easy read explanation of the tough decisions that the transplant centers are facing. It opened my eyes to the complex issues that I had not even considered for now and for the future,

Organ Transplant: 'Essential' Surgery in a Time of Pandemic
— Centers describe the tough choices, strategies, and outcomes they're seeing
by Crystal Phend, Senior Editor, MedPage Today March 26, 2020
https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/85623

REPLY
@rosemarya

I would like to share some information that found about transplant surgeries and delays. It is an easy read explanation of the tough decisions that the transplant centers are facing. It opened my eyes to the complex issues that I had not even considered for now and for the future,

Organ Transplant: 'Essential' Surgery in a Time of Pandemic
— Centers describe the tough choices, strategies, and outcomes they're seeing
by Crystal Phend, Senior Editor, MedPage Today March 26, 2020
https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/85623

Jump to this post

I guess it depends on where you live. Its not considered an "essential" surgery where I live.

REPLY
@rosemarya

I would like to share some information that found about transplant surgeries and delays. It is an easy read explanation of the tough decisions that the transplant centers are facing. It opened my eyes to the complex issues that I had not even considered for now and for the future,

Organ Transplant: 'Essential' Surgery in a Time of Pandemic
— Centers describe the tough choices, strategies, and outcomes they're seeing
by Crystal Phend, Senior Editor, MedPage Today March 26, 2020
https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/85623

Jump to this post

Interesting article, @rosemarya As the article says, if someone is in dire need it would be unconscionable to not do a transplant when an organ became available. That makes it a real dilemma. I was functioning fairly well, had gotten worse shortly before my transplant, but when they dissected my old liver it was close to being non-functional. I think I probably would not have been considered critical but I actually was.
@gaylea1 It does depend on where you are and on which hospital is your transplant hospital apparently. That article said that some hospitals heavily impacted by COVID are doing no transplants at all. That must be very frightening for critical patients on the waitlist.
JK

REPLY
@rosemarya

I would like to share some information that found about transplant surgeries and delays. It is an easy read explanation of the tough decisions that the transplant centers are facing. It opened my eyes to the complex issues that I had not even considered for now and for the future,

Organ Transplant: 'Essential' Surgery in a Time of Pandemic
— Centers describe the tough choices, strategies, and outcomes they're seeing
by Crystal Phend, Senior Editor, MedPage Today March 26, 2020
https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/85623

Jump to this post

As a mother and caregiver for my son with a newly transplanted heart (4/1/20), I appreciate the share of information and the support here.. He is still in ICU and, I, unfortunately, have not been able to be there but busily following his transplant team's advice and instruction here at home and thankful for video chat! I am sure that Mayo hospital had to make a tough decision regarding the timing of when this gift became available and the ever increasing concern that this declining LVAD patient was presenting. I am so aware of the heartbreak that wait listers and their families are now experiencing and NO, these are not elective surgeries. Now I am adjusting to living like a transplant recipient, as well, even though I am not one. My heart and best wishes go out to all of you. Stay well and safe.

REPLY

Thank you for sharing. Prayers and good wishes for you and your family.

REPLY
@brenwhite

As a mother and caregiver for my son with a newly transplanted heart (4/1/20), I appreciate the share of information and the support here.. He is still in ICU and, I, unfortunately, have not been able to be there but busily following his transplant team's advice and instruction here at home and thankful for video chat! I am sure that Mayo hospital had to make a tough decision regarding the timing of when this gift became available and the ever increasing concern that this declining LVAD patient was presenting. I am so aware of the heartbreak that wait listers and their families are now experiencing and NO, these are not elective surgeries. Now I am adjusting to living like a transplant recipient, as well, even though I am not one. My heart and best wishes go out to all of you. Stay well and safe.

Jump to this post

As the wife of a kidney transplantee (11/13, almost a decade ago), one really important thing is for you to take a big breath…and relax! At first, you're given frightening instructions, a strong message that you're responsible for this precious gift, and the need to live very carefully. While that's true until your son has had his new heart long enough to be on the correct amount of immunosuppresants, you may be surprised at how soon he (and you and those around you) may be able to live normal lives. It may seem, when he first leaves the hospital and needs to have labs every second day, then every third day, etc., that you'll always be tethered to his transplant team. However, you'll find that normal life doesn't take that long to return, and that, except for all the meds he'll always take, things will settle down so that your lives will become downright ordinary.

My husband is a brittle diabetic, 66 when he received the new kidney, so his post-transplant outlook was more problematic than many–but it turned out that he simply breezed through the rather brief period of intense testing, checking, wearing a mask, etc. Part of the ability of transplant recipients to rebound today is that experience has made it possible for doctors to fine-tune the correct amount of immunosuppresants pretty quickly. My husband only had one small change in dosage shortly after transplant, plus one other one a couple of years later. Given that most recipients will be far healthier post-transplant, the fact that they start out with very close to the perfect dosage means a much swifter return to life, a life that's better than it had been!

Also, some of the immunosuppresants actually have some anti-viral properties! Our transplant center doesn't believe that their post-transplant patients are at great risk, nor have they been told to take any special precautions. The one thing that you will learn is to always wash your hands carefully, and carry a hand sanitizer in your vehicle(s) for times that you decide to have a meal away from home. We were horrified when, only two weeks post-transplant, my ex-husband showed up at my daughter's for our Thanksgiving dinner…with his usual winter cold and hacking cough. In spite of all of our fears, no one present caught his nasty cold. So, again, take a deep breath and relax…life is only going to get better.

REPLY
@brenwhite

As a mother and caregiver for my son with a newly transplanted heart (4/1/20), I appreciate the share of information and the support here.. He is still in ICU and, I, unfortunately, have not been able to be there but busily following his transplant team's advice and instruction here at home and thankful for video chat! I am sure that Mayo hospital had to make a tough decision regarding the timing of when this gift became available and the ever increasing concern that this declining LVAD patient was presenting. I am so aware of the heartbreak that wait listers and their families are now experiencing and NO, these are not elective surgeries. Now I am adjusting to living like a transplant recipient, as well, even though I am not one. My heart and best wishes go out to all of you. Stay well and safe.

Jump to this post

Hi Brendan White @brenwhite I saw your post and wanted to introduce myself. I would like to congratulate you on your son's recent Transplant and offer to answer any questions you have. I too was a Heart transplant recipient on Jan 5 2018. Now 2 years later I'm doing well. So please let me know how I may help during the upcoming days and months. May you have a blessed day.
Dana

REPLY
@brenwhite

As a mother and caregiver for my son with a newly transplanted heart (4/1/20), I appreciate the share of information and the support here.. He is still in ICU and, I, unfortunately, have not been able to be there but busily following his transplant team's advice and instruction here at home and thankful for video chat! I am sure that Mayo hospital had to make a tough decision regarding the timing of when this gift became available and the ever increasing concern that this declining LVAD patient was presenting. I am so aware of the heartbreak that wait listers and their families are now experiencing and NO, these are not elective surgeries. Now I am adjusting to living like a transplant recipient, as well, even though I am not one. My heart and best wishes go out to all of you. Stay well and safe.

Jump to this post

Hi @brenwhite, I'd like to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Health care providers and families are making very difficult choices. You must be so grateful that the decision was made for the heart transplant for your son. Allow me to introduce you to fellow heart transplant recipients and caregivers, like @danab @estrada53 @gbcapecod @glinda @lupedelarosa12, @fatherscaregiver, @amynewheart, @eileenheart and @linda59.

In addition to @joyces thoughts about life after transplant, you may enjoy reading these tips from fellow transplant recipients.
– Living Life after your Transplant https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/living-life-after-your-transplant/

Are you able to video chat with your son in ICU or only his team?

REPLY
@brenwhite

As a mother and caregiver for my son with a newly transplanted heart (4/1/20), I appreciate the share of information and the support here.. He is still in ICU and, I, unfortunately, have not been able to be there but busily following his transplant team's advice and instruction here at home and thankful for video chat! I am sure that Mayo hospital had to make a tough decision regarding the timing of when this gift became available and the ever increasing concern that this declining LVAD patient was presenting. I am so aware of the heartbreak that wait listers and their families are now experiencing and NO, these are not elective surgeries. Now I am adjusting to living like a transplant recipient, as well, even though I am not one. My heart and best wishes go out to all of you. Stay well and safe.

Jump to this post

Dear Breandan, I sending you and your son cyber hugs and best wishes as make this very difficult journey together through chat.

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Hi @brenwhite, I'd like to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Health care providers and families are making very difficult choices. You must be so grateful that the decision was made for the heart transplant for your son. Allow me to introduce you to fellow heart transplant recipients and caregivers, like @danab @estrada53 @gbcapecod @glinda @lupedelarosa12, @fatherscaregiver, @amynewheart, @eileenheart and @linda59.

In addition to @joyces thoughts about life after transplant, you may enjoy reading these tips from fellow transplant recipients.
– Living Life after your Transplant https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/living-life-after-your-transplant/

Are you able to video chat with your son in ICU or only his team?

Jump to this post

Hello @colleenyoung, I have been able to chat with him in ICU. I had given a brief clearance to visit him when he was experiencing some delirium coming off his vent (to calm him) and I set up his notebook to be able to chat with me when he came out of his haze. He was just released from ICU to the cardiac floor and doing pretty well. Thank you for the introductions and for the tips link posted. His name is Brendan and my name is Brenda. I set up this for him in 2017 just prior to his LVAD surgery.. he hasn't used it much.

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.