‘You never know when a donor is going to come up': Organ transplants continue during hurricane

ORLANDO, Fla. — Bottled water? Check. Flashlight? Check. New kidneys? Double check!

As Central Floridians hunkered down this week for whatever Hurricane Dorian was about to bring, one man got the call he'd been waiting for four years. There was a kidney ready for him if he could get to AdventHealth. Now.

"You never know when a donor is going to come up," said Dr. Tom Chin, surgical director of liver transplantation at AdventHealth. "… But whether it's a weekend, a holiday, a special occasion for them or a hurricane in this case, we're ready to proceed with the transplant."

During the storm, AdventHealth said it had roughly 15,000 team members and physicians working at the company's nine hospitals in the tri-county area, coordinating hospital operations and clinical care.

Chin said the man had been on the donor list and getting dialysis for four years waiting for his phone to ring telling him a kidney was available.

"He was more than happy to come in and brave the weather to be here," Chin said.

In total during, AdventHealth staff said they transplanted two kidneys and one liver during Hurricane Dorian. They also delivered 69 babies between Tuesday morning and the end of the day Wednesday.

"As a community resource, we remain open and available for all needs that the community may have," said Dr. Neil Finkler, chief medical officer for Acute Care Services in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. "Even in the middle of everything going on, we are still business as usual in many respects."

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