Ken Mitchell, pancreatic and kidney transplant patient

December 01, 2012

When Ken Mitchell first met UCI Health transplant surgeon Dr. Clarence Foster, he was a diabetic in kidney failure. Mitchell, a 42-year-old caterer, had to prick his finger eight times a day to test his blood sugar. His condition required four-hour dialysis sessions, four times a week. His life was not his own.

He sought out Foster, a kidney transplant expert who also leads Orange County's first pancreas transplant program. Within months, Foster had performed Mitchell's simultaneous pancreas and kidney (SPK) transplant. The outcome was dramatic. The Fullerton resident no longer needs daily injections of insulin. Regular trips to the dialysis center are a thing of the past now that Mitchell's kidney function is normal.

“It feels like I got my life back,” Mitchell says. Prior to his surgery, taking an extended vacation was unthinkable because he couldn’t miss his scheduled visits to the dialysis center. Now, Mitchell is planning a trip to Maui. He credits Foster and the transplant team for his greatly enhanced quality of life.

Learn more about the UCI Health Transplantation Services ›

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