This medical video looks into how new technology had improved the odds of kidney patients.
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Jennifer Matthews: When doctors first told Mary Halpin she had kidney failure, she hoped for an organ transplant. Mary Halpin: They checked within my family, and everybody was ruled out for, mostly for health reasons, so they weren't able to donate. Jennifer Matthews: That meant dialysis until another donor was found and up to five years of feeling bad. Mary Halpin: I don't think you ever feel great when you're having your blood cleaned by some mechanism other than your own body. Jennifer Matthews: Until recently, the donor and recipient had to have compatible blood types or the body would reject the organ. Now, Doctor Robert Montgomery says a new procedure allows a person with any blood type to donate. Dr. Robert Montgomery: It's wonderful to be able to tell those people, 'If you have a donor and that donor is medically eligible, I can transplant you.' Jennifer Matthews: The blood is taken from the body and harmful antibodies are removed. The blood cells are put back into the patient along with medication to keep the antibodies from returning. Dr. Robert Montgomery: These programs really benefit two groups of people. The first group are patients who are blood type incompatible with their donor; the second group are patients who have developed harmful antibodies because of previous pregnancies, blood transfusions and transplants. Jennifer Matthews: The procedure allowed Mary to get her new kidney. Mary Halpin: I felt fantastic. I had no idea that there would be such a difference. Jennifer Matthews: And two years later, she's still going strong. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.