Video: Children's Hospital celebrates 500th transplant

SEATTLE - Thursday morning, surgeons at Seattle Children's Hospital performed their 500th organ transplant. Sophia Pook, 8, from Seattle's Magnolia neighborhood received a kidney donation after she suffered renal failure.

It's a milestone for the hospital which performed its first successful organ transplant in 1985.

Last year, doctors discovered Sophia's kidneys were not working properly. She began dialysis this June.

Just this week, the Pooks learned that Sophia's mother, Camille, was a perfect donor match for her daughter. The family cut their summer camp vacation short to rush back to Seattle to have the surgery performed Thursday.

Dr. Patrick Healey has performed hundreds of organ transplants at Seattle Children's. He says advancements in organ rejection drugs and post surgery care has caused the success rate to rise from 70 percent to more than 90 percent. Healey says the new kidney should last for decades.

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"We are looking at 20 plus years. I don't know the longest time to expect. More than half the kidneys transplanted at the kids these ages are functioning well at 16 years and that number gets longer as the early success gets better," said Healey.

It's been a tough waiting game for Jonathan Pook. Both his wife and daughter underwent surgery at the same time. Some family members are staying by his wife's side at the University of Washington Medical Center while he waits at Seattle Children's.

Jonathan says his wife has no hesitations in donating her organ to her daughter. Sophia was upbeat about the surgery.

"She was very afraid but she said, 'Daddy, I can do this.' She prayed about it we prayed together she said 'It's going to be OK' and I said 'It's going to be OK,'" said Jonathan.

Both mother and daughter are doing fine. Sophia is expected to recover and be released from the hospital in time for first day of school.

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