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The Journal Gazette

  • Sherry Slater | The Journal Gazette Pinwheels were placed in the lawn outside Lutheran Hospital's main entrance on Wednesday, one for each Hoosier waiting for a kidney transplant.

  • Kizilisik

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 5:40 pm

Surgeon, hospitals work to raise organ donation awareness

SHERRY SLATER | The Journal Gazette

As Indiana's only kidney transplant surgeon working outside Indianapolis, Dr. Tarik Kizilisik has performed up to three of the procedures in one day.

Other times, he'll wait two weeks between trips to Lutheran Hospital's operating room.

It's not for a lack of people needing kidneys. The local active waiting list is 94, with another 40 who are on vacation or for another reason have been designated temporarily inactive.

The challenge is finding enough donors. Usable kidneys can come from live or recently deceased donors. April is Donate Life Month.

Kizilisik joined Lutheran staff and volunteers with the Indiana Donor Network at the hospital Wednesday to distribute literature promoting organ donation. Staff members also placed one multi-colored pinwheel in the lawn at Lutheran Hospital's main entrance for each of the more than 1,300 Hoosiers awaiting organ transplants.

Lutheran Hospital's kidney transplant program is separate from its heart transplant program, which has been temporarily halted while hospital officials search for a replacement for their advanced heart failure cardiologist.