Like many people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, Daphne Chisolm couldn't imagine living an insulin-free life. But neither could she imagine that her condition would become life-threatening.
After years of fighting the good fight, Daphne eventually had to deal with foot ulcers that did not heal, frequent hospital stays due to dangerously low blood sugar, and then renal failure that bound her to kidney dialysis for two years.
At that point, Daphne, a 50-year-old Bronx native, became a candidate for a complex pancreas-kidney transplantation, a procedure reserved for the sickest diabetic patients with renal failure. In the United States, fewer than 1,300 pancreas or pancreas-kidney transplants are done annually, with surgeons most often needing to perform simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplantation in diabetic patients with renal failure, like Daphne. If successful, a pancreas transplant can effectively cure type 1 diabetes by restoring the body's ability to control blood sugar.
The team at the Montefiore Einstein Center for Transplantation tapped into an impressive roster of internationally renowned surgeons and multidisciplinary experts to devise the best course of action and complete the procedure. Our surgical team implanted a donated kidney and pancreas during a challenging eight-hour surgery.
Daphne now has independence from both dialysis and daily insulin. "I think the transplant team is fabulous," she says. "I love them all." Lately, however, she spends less time with them, and more with her husband, children, family and friends. "I laugh more now. No more tears."
The Montefiore Einstein Center for Transplantation has the highest survival rates in the region. Led by world-class specialists, the Center for Transplantation includes renowned programs in kidney, liver, heart and abdominal transplant, with patient outcomes among the best in the country.
The Center is committed to advancing the field of transplantation through research and education, and has elevated the model of multidisciplinary, patient-centered care.