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A Patient's Guide to Transplantation

A Patient's Guide to Transplantation was developed for transplant patients by transplant patients. It was written to help guide you, the transplant patient, through the maze of this modern miracle of medicine known as organ transplantation.

It isn't a book of personal stories. Although we have talked to hundreds of transplant recipients and their families, and know that every transplant patient has a story to tell. And each story is more incredible than the last. And all of the stories are worth telling. But we'll leave that to someone else's book.

And the Guide isn't meant to be a textbook on transplantation. We hope you'll learn a lot here, but we're not going to try to overwhelm you with a lot of scientific or medical terminology. You'll get exposed to that sort of material just from the amount of time you spend with the doctors and the nurses in the hospital or transplant clinic. And if medical "mumbo jumbo" confuses you - you're not alone. So, we've included a glossary with some basic definitions to provide some help.

Our goal in this guide is to help provide you with as much information as possible to assist you to better understand and cope with your transplant experience. Our belief is that a knowledgeable patient is a better patient - and the more information you have, the better your transplant results will be. And, with a little luck, your story, and the book you someday may write, will have a happy ending.

As you'll soon see, we have written the guide in a "light" style. Every once and again we have even attempted a feeble stab at humor. It's not that we think that transplantation is a light topic. We know that it is just the opposite. But we figured that, if you're reading the guide, you've probably got plenty on your mind already. And your brain doesn't need any additional "exercise" just now. So, we have tried to make the guide as readable as we could.

This guide should not be your first source of information. It is intended to be a supplement to your first and most important information resource - your transplant team. While there are many experiences common from patient to patient, transplantation is nonetheless a very individual experience. And no one will have a better picture of your individual circumstances than your transplant team.

Your transplant team should always be your primary source for answers to the hundreds of questions you will have about transplantation. Even though they might not have all of the answers all of the time, chances are good they've heard the questions before and will be able to steer you to the information you need. Always use your transplant team as your source for medical information.

What we have done here is to try to put a patient's perspective on transplantation. Having "been there and done that", that is, having personally lived through the experience, we have an idea what patients and their families need and are interested in when it comes to transplantation. We have tried to compile as much of that information as we could in this guide.

The guide is not intended to be an "everything you've always wanted to know" source for information on transplantation. The subject is far too complex and evolutionary to be covered in one place. Transplant technology is advancing so fast, the answers you get today won't fit the questions you have tomorrow. So, use this as a starting point to begin to learn more about transplantation and to open your mind to the options and resources available to you. And if it helps only one of you through your transplant in any way, it will have been well worth our effort.

If you've already had your transplant, congratulations and make sure you take your meds! If you're waiting for your transplant, hang in there and keep up a good attitude! It can be a long uphill struggle, but remember, TRANSPLANTATION WORKS!

What they're saying about the Patient's Guide...

"The book is comprehensive and well-organized... It will greatly assist us in managing our patients more effectively."  Sue C., R.N.

 "I wish [the Guide] was available when I was going through my transplant... there was nothing available as comprehensive as this!" Jill Q., kidney recipient.

 "[The Guide] is a very easy read, direct and to the point and right on the money." John S., heart recipient.

 "I can't remember ever reading a more comprehensive guide to organ transplantation." Vicki K., Executive Director, NKF local chapter.

 "The book consolidated a wealth of information that I has to dig out of the woodwork when I needed my transplant." Jean H., liver recipient, support group President.

 "This readable and informative book will be a great resource for patients and their families as well as professionals." Ellen E., R.N., Clinical Coordinator.

 "The Board has read your book and think it is outstanding." Don L., kidney recipient, support group Director.

 "What a great service you have rendered... by your outstanding Guide. All of us have seen bits and pieces of much of the information you presented, but never together in one publication." Sidney L, heart recipient, support group President.

 "The Guide is an excellent reference for transplant patients." Donna J., Group Coordinator.

 "I was very impressed with your guide." Howard K., CEO, transplant support group.

 "Our lung transplant population [is] exceptionally pleased with the information and the format in which it is presented. Please send us 120 more copies." Rebecca B., MSW.

 "I thought [the Guide] was well-written, informative without getting too specific and covered a wide variety of subjects. I finished the book within 3 hours of receiving it!" Linda J., kidney recipient.

"The Guide is wonderful. Please send us another 200 copies for our patients." Scott S., transplant administrator.

"God bless you for the Patient's Guide!" John R., liver candidate.

Get your copy now!

 A Patients Guide to Transplantation is free with membership in ATA. It is also available for purchase for $9.95 + $3.00 S/H ($12.95 total). It is also available to transplant centers and support groups at a bulk rate (minimum 20 copies). Contact us and let us know your requirements.