This week is Donate Life Week in Australia (Donate Life Month is April which I will have to make a mental note of for future reference). In honor of this, but also because this cause is so important year-round (across the country & globally), I am highlighting transplant documentaries that show factual & accurate representations of transplant journeys.
As the followers of this blog know, I take interest primarily in lung transplants because of my current situation. But I have had friends who have had to have kidney transplants (from either family members, or being matched to a donor) for various issues. There is the ability with TSC & LAM in worst case scenarios to have need for both potentially. But I’ve always been a bit fascinated with the process & with these stories, so I wanted to learn more on my own. It’s just with my lung transplant evaluation testing coming up in a little over 10 days (August 17-21) it puts a timely spin to my searching.
I was bummed that the BBC channel was no longer available on my Apple TV. However, it’s alive & well on Youtube, thankfully (It’s very easy to get lost hunting & pecking through scientific videos & other material when searching under lung transplant documentaries, in fact). I had heard so much buzz about their new series that I was hoping there was some easy way to check it out.
If you want to check it out, Transplant Tales, is the series that originated on BBC One that actually chronicles transplants. Granted this is the UK system, & not the USA system, but it still give valuable insights. So far, there are 2 episodes available. Both are about 45 minutes to an hour each.
Discovery Science also had an episode that chronicled transplant recipients journeys earlier this year.
In my blog post, What Exactly is EX-VIVO Lung Perfusion, I highlighted an episode from Al-Jazeera America‘s TECHKNOW series. This is yet another segment from that that focuses on heart transplantations & innovation in preservation techniques.
Some people may have heard of this in the news, the first six-way kidney transplant ever performed. Thanks to the Johns Hopkins website we can now view the clip of this record-setting surgery.
Though not “mainstream”, there is a captivating web-series, called Gift of a Lifetime, that chronicles 2 weeks spent by journalists in both Philadelphia & Los Angeles transplant centers. One of the journalists is a senior writer for National Geographic.
PBS had one of the first documentaries back in 2012, entitled “A Gift for Life”.
Speaking of National Geographic, they were also the first to film a documentary on one of the first face transplants.
65_Red Roses is a documentary that aired on OWN, (Oprah Winfrey Network) & was a selection for Oprah’s Documentary Club. It follows one woman’s journey with Cystic Fibrosis. Eva, the young woman would be 31 now, unfortunately passed from rejection complications in 2010, after her transplant in 2007. But her candor & openness stretched well beyond the 25 years she lived.
Finally, to give this all a little levity & balance, here is a very humorous but insightful video made by a transplant patient entitled “Things Transplant Recipients Never Say”. This was made for Gifted Life, a nonprofit organization in Australia in order to promote organ donation & transplant awareness & has been circulating around Facebook this week. The creator said she did it to raise awareness of what challenges recipients face after their transplant.