According to the Rare Disease Report, 50 years ago, when Tommy Hoag was six years old, he received a kidney transplant.
Tommy needed this transplant after having Scarlet fever and then developing glomerulonephritis.
Glomerulonephritis is a kidney disease where the part of the kidney that filters fluids and waste from blood is damaged.
Dr. Richard Fine, who is a pediatric nephrologist, performed Tommy’s kidney transplant surgery in 1967. Additionally, Dr. Fine believed that this was the best route for Tommy. At the time, kidney transplants had only been done a couple times in children. The majority of the time it was in twins. The team of doctors was carefully optimistic about the transplant. In fact, they thought it would only give him a few, if that, more years to live.
Fifty years later, Dr. Fine and Tommy were able to reunite at the hospital he received his transplant to celebrate. Tommy is now 56 years old. He still has the same kidney he received from the original transplant.
The donor was Tommy’s father.
Tommy’s transplant is the longest working live donor kidney transplant in United States history. 50 years ago, they had no clue that someone would survive 50 years with only one kidney. Dr. Fine stated that this was one of the highlights of his career.