TULSA, OK (KJRH) — Nearly 100 patients will have to find a new kidney transfer program after St. Francis announced it will stop accepting new patients to its program on March 22.
Angie Brown is a mother of two, a kidney transplant candidate, and a patient at St. Francis' kidney transfer program. She is now looking to one of the programs in the Oklahoma City area, as St. Francis is working to transfer patients out of its program.
"I kept sitting there thinking, 'we've made it this far'," Brown said. "[My doctor] told me everything we've done - we can simply move over to whoever [I] choose."
There are three other kidney transplant programs in the state. Officials say the one at St. Francis hospital will remain fully staffed until the last patient is transferred out, and the closest program is at St. John.
St. John has already taken 30 patients from St. Francis. The doctor in charge of the program says they're ready to accept "as many patients as needed." He says for staffing, the program "will bring on as much staff as necessary to accommodate out new patients."
A St. Francis spokesperson tells 2 Works for You there is "no longer a community need," and St. John has the resources to take care of all local patients. Doctors at St. Francis and St. John both say the wait list for a transplant won't be affected. That's not handled by hospitals at all, but by United Network for Organ Sharing.
Any local transplant candidate like Angie will remain exactly where they were on the priority list.
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