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Newly Married Couple’s Kidney Transplant Goes Off Without a Hitch

November 10, 1994

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Victoria Ingram-Curlee has finally made good on her wedding promise to her husband.

In two 2 1/2 -hour operations Wednesday, four doctors removed one of her kidneys and implanted it in Randall Curlee.

″The operations, both of them, were quite successful,″ said Dr. Robert Mendez. ″Victoria gave a beautiful kidney to Randy, and after we were able to implant it and hook it up, it looked just beautiful, just as it did when it came out of her.″

Husband and wife were recuperating today in separate rooms at Sharp Memorial Hospital, where they were married Oct. 11. They should be able to go home as early as next week, doctors said.

Randall, whose kidneys were ruined by diabetes, isn’t completely out of the woods - 15 percent of kidney transplants fail. But if his recovery is successful, he’ll have more energy and be able to produce children, the doctors said.

His bride’s recovery will be easier.

″Although it is an insult to her body temporarily, she’ll respond rather dramatically and rapidly and will feel pretty normal in a day or two,″ said Mendez.

Shortly after the couple got engaged in February, Curlee, 46, learned that he would die without a transplant. He gave Victoria a chance to back out of the marriage, but she offered to be a donor and doctors were surprised when tests indicated she was a good match.

Doctors had to scuttle three previous transplant attempts because of last- minute complications.

A July operation was canceled when tests raised questions about Curlee’s heart surviving the surgery. It was rescheduled for September, but Curlee turned out to be iron-deficient. Then last month, a doctor nicked part of Victoria’s kidney during pre-operation, requiring another postponement.

About 26,000 people in the United States are waiting for new kidneys; only about 8,000 are donated each year.

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