In March 1998, Elaine went to Cedars-Sinai for her first IVIG treatment, although because this was part of the ongoing clinical study, neither the family nor the medical staff knew at the time if she was receiving IVIG or a placebo. In October, Scarlett underwent a series of medical tests and found that she could be a compatible kidney donor. Despite several more physical setbacks for Elaine, the mother-to-daughter transplant was finally completed on Dec. 2.
"We were both in the surgery prep room around 7 or 7:30 that morning," said Scarlett. "And I knew that it would be fine. We prayed together and she told me that she hoped that I would be OK. I told her that I would if she would be OK."
After the operations and the two patients had been taken to their rooms two floors apart, Scarlett called Elaine on the phone. Elaine was ecstatic that her new kidney had started to function immediately. "She just started crying and we both just cried," said Scarlett.
Elaine passed the three-month post-transplant mark with only two minor threats of rejection that required adjustments in medications, according to Scarlett. She is now thoroughly enjoying all the foods that patients on hemodialysis must avoid in order to maintain electrolyte balance, proper fluid levels and other vital functions.
Scarlett said Elaine, who suffers irreversible hearing loss as a result of the numerous infections she endured through the years, recently said, "Mom, I didn't think I would live to see my 21st birthday. Who would have thought that I'll be 23?"
Despite its apparent benefits, this therapy is likely to remain a viable
anti-rejection option only in difficult cases and when other treatments fail,
partly because immunoglobulin is a limited commodity. The product of a
painstaking and time-consuming laboratory process, IVIG is in high demand for
the treatment of a variety of immune sys
Contact: Sandra Van
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center