How do you still have hope?

My grandmother firmly believes that she may get a kidney transplant inspite of what doctors say She is 65 and has low chances. Should I try to help her understand the truth… or just let her have hope?

I think you should help her understand the truth. Is she on dialysis? What type? What is her general health?

They DO transplant people who are over 65–at least they do in the US; I’m not sure where you are. One option is to use organs that come from older donors. Some doctors do have a real problem with putting a 23 year old kidney into a 65+ year old person whose life expectancy doesn’t match the kidney. So, using organs from people in their 60s and 70s can make a lot of sense.

People who don’t have hope die. As long as there is some possibility, it may keep your grandmother going. 65 is young-old, and if she is otherwise in reasonable health besides the kidney failure, who knows… And if she is otherwise in poor health and living in a fantasy world, who is it harming?

I can tell you that my husband is 63 and was asked about having a kidney transplant before he went on PD. He said no. He has a fear of a surgery; I keep trying to tell him that the surgery even though is is major it is not as it was years ago. He had a classmate who had two transplants and says he doesn’t want to go through what she went through.

I have to tell you that if I were in your grandmother’s shoes I would have the transplant if I qualified.


Doctors now are using kidneys they would have rejected in the past. These kidneys come from extra criteria donors (ECDs) - in other words, people in higher age groups with additional problems, like, say, high blood pressure.
While these kidneys might not last as long as one coming from a healthier, younger person, they are suitable for people of advanced age. I recently talked to a 69-year-old man who had just received his ECD kidney. He had at first rejected the idea of an EDC organ, but was persuaded to change his mind and is happy he did.
You might ask your nephorologist about the possibility of your mother being put on this special list.
It depends on what other exisiting problems your Mom has.

Best of luck.