MANHASSET, NY – A Moriches man is looking forward to this Thanksgiving holiday with more enthusiasm, after receiving a kidney transplant one month ago at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH). In keeping with the spirit of the holiday, the donor of Christian Ohlsen’s healthy kidney is Robert Joy, the uncle of Mr. Ohlsen’s husband, Shaun Corideo.
Mr. Ohlsen has been living with the deadly, hereditary disease known as polycystic kidney disease (PKD) since he was diagnosed at the age of 14. PKD is an inherited disorder in which clusters of cysts develop primarily in the kidney. The cysts (noncancerous round sacs filled with fluid) vary in size and, as they accumulate more fluid, can grow very large.
At a news conference held Wednesday at the hospital, Mr. Ohlsen and Mr. Corideo joined with Mr. Joy and their entire family to thank Ernesto Molmenti, MD, surgical director of the NSUH Transplant Center, who performed this life-saving surgery. Dr. Molmenti explained that PKD is a difficult disease because it is often associated with other disorders such as high blood pressure. “Kidney failure is another problem for these patients,” said Dr. Molmenti, a fact of which Mr. Ohlsen is well aware.
“There are so many members of my family living with PKD,” he said. “My father has already gone through a transplant because of PKD. Two of my aunts have this disease, and one of my uncles has already passed away as a result. I’m already the third generation in my family with PKD, and we now know that a relative’s baby has been diagnosed. That’s four generations in one family.”
The family began searching for a donor and happily discovered that Mr. Corideo’s uncle (a Pennsylvania resident) was a perfect match. The transplant took place at NSUH on October 22. Calling it “a wonderful match,” Dr. Molmenti said that Mr. Ohlsen can look forward to a normal, healthy life. Both he and Mr. Joy were able to return to their homes three days after the surgery.
Saying that he felt very blessed to be thriving and feeling so much healthier after transplant, Mr. Ohlsen acknowledged that one of the best results from this long journey is being able to participate in the annual Thanksgiving feast without worrying about a restricted diet. To prove his point, Mr. Ohlsen dug into a pumpkin pie – his favorite treat – at the conclusion of the news conference, along with Mr. Corideo, Mr. Joy and Dr. Molmenti.
Dr. Molmenti said the family’s celebration represented the true meaning of the holiday. “Thanksgiving is about good health, good family and good food. Donors like Uncle Robert are permanently inscribed in the book of life. They bring joy to those who are in need. And now, there is a happy ending,” he said.
About North Shore-LIJ
The nation's 14th-largest healthcare system, North Shore-LIJ delivers world-class clinical care throughout the New York metropolitan area, pioneering research at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and a visionary approach to medical education highlighted by the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. North Shore-LIJ cares for people at every stage of life at 16 hospitals and nearly 400 outpatient physician practices throughout the region. North Shore-LIJ’s owned hospitals and long-term care facilities house more than 6,000 beds, employ more than 10,000 nurses and have affiliations with more than 9,400 physicians. With a workforce of more than 46,000, North Shore-LIJ is the largest employer on Long Island and the third-largest private employer in New York City. For more information, go to www.northshorelij.com.
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