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Senator, Daughter Released After Kidney Transplant

September 17, 1986

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah, and his daughter Susan Garn Horne, both declaring ″I’m feeling great″, walked out of Georgetown University Hospital today, exactly a week after he donated one of his kidneys to her.

With Susan at his side, Garn told reporters that ″we couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome″ of the transplant surgery performed Sept. 10. ″It’s exciting to know she’s got that old space kidney working inside her,″ said the senator, who flew aboard the space shuttle Discovery in April 1985.

Dr. G. Baird Helfrich, chief of Georgetown’s division of transplantation, said Mrs. Horne, 27, ″has experienced no rejection activity,″ and passed her one-week benchmark with a perfect ″10.″ If no signs of rejection develop in the next three weeks, ″and I wouldn’t expect any,″ he said, ″she will go on with her life.″

Georgetown surgeon Ian J. Spence described Garn, who never before had been hospitalized, as ″an absolutely model patient who has done everything requested of him. He arrived at Georgetown University Hospital in excellent health and is leaving in the same condition.″

Garn, 53, said ″when I think of what a difference my kidney donation has already made for Sue, and how much better she feels already, I feel like this experience will mean more to me than anything I could ever do.″

Helfrich said both father and daughter had identical serum levels prior to their release, and there ″is no hint of rejection activity anywhere″ on Mrs. Horne. Neither the senator nor Mrs. Horne experienced any complications in the wake of the surgery, performed after tests demonstrated that the father was a donor match for her. Two brothers also are prospective matches, should she eventually reject her father’s kidney.

Mrs. Horne, the wife of Alan Horne of Vienna, Va., has suffered from progressive kidney failure due to a diabetic condition.

Garn was to fly to Utah to continue his recuperation under the care of Dr. Wayne A. Border, a specialist at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center. Spence said, ″It is in Senator Garn’s best interests to convalesce quietly at home with his family.″

Mrs. Horne will remain an outpatient at Georgetown.

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