A CNN camera crew arrived at the West Campus Clinical Center in late-December of 2009 as cousins Sheila Schwartz and David Kanter entered the hospital for life-saving kidney transplant surgery. CNN followed the patients throughout their stay, including an intense six-hour surgery as a healthy kidney was removed from Kanter (by transplant surgeon Scott Johnson, MD) and transplanted into Schwartz (by transplant surgeon Seth Karp, MD)."
Schwartz had been in kidney failure for nearly 10 years.
Schwartz's daughter, CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen, was at her mother's side throughout the procedure both as a caring child and also to document the transplant. The experience will become part of an hour-long CNN documentary about patient empowerment to be aired in late-summer or early-fall.
This transplant story was selected because of Cohen's family connection, but also because both the donor and the recipient made significant medical choices based on personal investigation. "Both patients did extensive research about kidney transplantation. They wanted to know what's available, who's best trained and who has the best track record, and they chose Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to have the procedure done," said Buz Kanter, the donor's brother.
Both patients [and the kidney] are doing well and have been released from the hospital to continue their recovery at home. The CNN documentary will coincide with the release of Cohen's new book about the empowered patient, which focuses on helping patients take an active part in their own health care.