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Children's Mercy Forms New Pediatric Transplant Center

Elle Moxley
Children's Mercy is forming a new transplant center with money from the family of Brendan Tripp Elam, who received a liver transplant when he was 10. His mother, Stacy; sister, Abby; and father, Jason, annouced the gift Thursday.

A new transplant center at Children’s Mercy will foster collaboration between heart, kidney and liver specialists.

Executive Medical Director Charlie Roberts says bringing the three transplant teams together will allow Children’s Mercy to offer patients an even higher level of care.

“The donor organs are precious, and everybody wants to make sure the programs that do this do it really, really well,” Roberts said at a press conference Thursday.

Roberts says he remembers having to send patients to Dallas for transplants before Children’s Mercy performed its first kidney transplant 25 years ago.

“I used to argue that Kansas City needed to do transplants. We were big enough, we were good enough, our kids deserved it, their families deserved it, the support was here, they shouldn’t have to travel somewhere to do transplants,” Roberts said.

Children’s Mercy has hired Elizabeth Reed from Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, to serve as the center’s new administrative director.

The center will be named for 13-year-old Brendan Tripp Elam, who received a liver transplant at Children’s Mercy in 2012 and whose grandparents donated to create the transplant center.

“No parent wants their child to need the type of care that Brendan and other patients receive at Children’s Mercy, but it’s comforting to know that it is here and that your child is in good, caring hands,” said Brendan’s mom, Stacy Elam.

Elle Moxley covered education for KCUR.
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