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VCU Health performs 5,000th transplant procedure

Marlon Levy, M.D., stands with Elmer Lynn, Jr. at VCU Health Hume-Lee Transplant Center’s celebration of its 5,000th transplant.

By Leha Byrd
University Public Affairs

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

After being on the national organ transplant waiting list only a few days, Elmer Lynn Jr. got the call that a liver had been found for him. The news meant he could have the surgery that would save his life and free him from the liver cancer and fatty liver disease he had battled for years.

“Shock city,” Lynn said when asked how he felt about receiving the good news. “I was just put on the list three days before. I figured it’d be a year, two years, six months or never. But to do it in three days, I just really wasn’t prepared at all.”

Lynn’s procedure was performed in the early morning hours of May 17 at the VCU Health Hume-Lee Transplant Center at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center. The Washington, D.C., resident and retired U.S. veteran was discharged May 24 and is doing well post-transplant. His surgery was the 5,000th transplant performed by Hume-Lee surgeons.

To celebrate the milestone of Lynn’s surgery, and the 4,999 performed before his, Hume-Lee is hosting a 5,000th Transplant Celebration on Tuesday, June 27, from 4–5 p.m., in the VCU Medical Center Main Hospital second-floor cafeteria. Marlon Levy, M.D., chair of the Division of Transplant Surgery and director of the VCU Health Hume-Lee Transplant Center, and other VCU Health leadership will be in attendance and offer remarks. Lynn will also be in attendance along with members of his care team from Hume-Lee and previous transplant recipients, living organ donors and deceased donor families.

This celebration is part of a yearlong acknowledgement of the 60th anniversary of the first organ transplant at the Medical College of Virginia, now VCU Medical Center. Throughout the year, Hume-Lee has hosted several events to commemorate the anniversary, including serving dinner at The Doorways, a local homestead where Hume-Lee patients and their families can reside during treatment, and participating in a panel discussion on living organ donation during National Donate Life Month.

Levy is optimistic that Lynn’s great outcome is one of thousands more to come.

“All of us on the team are so privileged to be a part of this milestone. It speaks to our unwavering commitment to our patients, their families and their continued trust,” he said. “We look forward to many more decades of providing state-of-the art, innovative transplant care to the people of Virginia and beyond.”

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 225 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Seventy-nine of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. The VCU Health brand represents the health sciences schools of VCU, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center and Level I trauma center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, please visit www.vcu.edu and vcuhealth.org.