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US Records One Millionth Organ Transplant

The United States recorded its one millionth organ transplant in September of 2022, a historic milestone for the medical procedure that has saved thousands of lives. It's unclear which organ was the record one millionth and details about the patient are unknown at this time.

The very first successful organ transplant occurred in 1954 at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. That was when doctors transplanted a kidney from 23-year-old Ronald Herrick into his identical twin brother, Richard, who was suffering from chronic kidney failure. The lead surgeon, Dr. Joseph Murray, received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his role in the procedure.

Up until the early 1980s, the number of transplants every year remained low. However, success in transplants organs other than kidneys—such as hearts, livers, and pancreases—and the advent of anti-rejection medication led to a rise in transplants. Since then, transplants have become a far more common procedure. In 2021, more than 41,000 transplants occurred, which is the highest number ever recorded.

Sadly, approximately 5,000 people die waiting on transplant lists ever year. And a study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology in October 2020 found that many donor kidneys in the U.S. are unnecessarily discarded. But organ donors and recipients hope that by sharing their stories, they will inspire people will sign up to donate and help reduce those long waiting lists.

Possible Preaching Angle:

1) Heart; New Life - God has also given millions of new hearts (Ezek. 11:19) through the work of the Great Physician. However, just as the article states, many die while waiting for a new organ, so also many die without taking advantage of God’s gracious offer of salvation (“why will you die?” Ezek. 33:11; Luke 13:34). 2) Christ, substitute for humanity – There is joy for the patients receiving a new heart. Yet, the joy is bittersweet because the cost of that new heart was someone's life. For one to live another had to die.

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