By Morgan Montalvo
At Methodist Hospital’s Texas Transplant Institute, a new photographic exhibit chronicles a quarter century of medical success through the faces of patients, donors and the medical professionals committed to their survival, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The images were unveiled at a Tuesday evening reception to celebrate research advancements and recognize survivors who have benefited from the facility’s next-generation treatments.
Dr. Paul Shaughnessy, the institute’s medical director, says transplant-based treatments have progressed far beyond the days of painful hip bone marrow extractions and hit-or-miss donor-patient matches, to current stem cell and donor transplant protocols.
“We used to be so limited to just finding a match with a brother and sister. Now we can use umbilical cord blood, especially in our pediatric transplants,” Shaughnessy tells News Radio 1200 WOAI.
“I can find a donor for really just about anybody now,” Shaughnessy says, “and that can make transplants so accessible now to save these people’s lives.”
Jeff Hunt is one of the institute’s success stories, as well as one of the faces featured in the exhibit. In 2001 Hunt was diagnosed with a form of leukemia. Today he lives a prolonged, “normal” life.
“I’ve been able to help people; I’ve been able to have a family, adopt a son, and just kind of help people when they’re going through hurts I life,” Hunt says.
Hunt says he gives back by mentoring new patients at the institute and helping them prepare for the challenging days ahead.
Over the past 25 years, Shaughnessy says, emerging treatments have allowed the institute to increase the number of annual procedures from 50 to about 200.
Blood and bone-marrow transplant treatments are used to treat several forms of cancer, as well as a range of other diseases and medical conditions.
IMAGE: GETTY IMAGES