SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The hospital accused of denying a man a kidney transplant without giving him an explanation has issued a statement.
Mark Politte, a former stand-out basketball player at LSU-Shreveport, says he's been trying to get a kidney transplant at Willis Knighton's transplant center in Shreveport and says his brother is the willing donor. However, says he's been getting the run-around.
"I'm 26, I just feel like some people shouldn't be going through stuff like this at this age, you know?" says Politte.
After our story aired across Louisiana, the Senior Transplant Coordinator at Oschner's Medical Center in New Orleans reached out and offered to help Politte. Oschner even offered up their facility for his transplant and there have been other offers for help as well.
Wednesday afternoon, a Willis Knighton spokesperson issued the following statement:
A living donor transplantation surgery involves two living people and the criteria are very specific. In addition to tissue match, living donor transplants require that a number of additional criteria be met. These are in place to support the best chance for positive outcomes for both donor and recipient. With a living donor transplantation, both the recipient and donor are evaluated separately by different medical and social services teams to assure that no bias is present in the recommendation.
Willis-Knighton's transplant team will not deny surgery to any person who meets the criteria for transplantation. The national requirements for living donor transplantation includes 25 pages of criteria for the both recipient and donor, not all involving tissue match. These may be reviewed at the following link: http://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/ContentDocuments/OPTN_Policies.pdf#nameddest=Policy_14.
After both parties are evaluated, both the prospective donor and prospective recipient are counseled about the results of their evaluations and whether indications are positive for them to participate in the living donor process. Each person's responses are discussed only with that person—and not with the media—to assure confidentiality for each participant.
Wednesday, Politte's brother and would-be donor Dameion McQueen sent us a letter he received from Willis Knighton. In the letter, the hospital cites that "lack of adequate support system" as the reason they refuse to do the transplant.
Politte says at the time, the hospital was concerned about his brother not having a vehicle and since his brother lives in Houston, he would have a difficult time making it to his follow-up appointments. But Politte says the situation has since changed and even though his McQueen has agreed to stay in town after the surgery and now has a vehicle, the hospital is still refusing to perform the transplant.
We called the Willis Knighton spokesperson after hours Wednesday evening regarding the letter. We left a message, but have not heard back.