Bells are Ringing at Dell Seton to Celebrate New Beginnings

Last month, the Adult Abdominal Transplant Center at Dell Seton Medical Center Austin celebrated its one year anniversary. The partnership between Ascension Seton and UT Health Austin, the clinical practice of Dell Medical School at the University of Texas, has gone from strength to strength during 2022. In its first year, the transplant team has performed seven kidney donor surgeries and six kidney transplant surgeries.

In April, as part of National Donate Life month, the Transplant Center invited kidney transplant recipients and living donors to a celebration event. Donors and recipients shared stories about their experiences and got to connect with each other, as well as catch up with transplant team members and clinicians who cared for them on the 4th floor of Dell Seton while recovering from surgery.

More recently, in November the Transplant Center held a Bell Ceremony to recognise, honor, inspire, and celebrate transplant recipients and living donors. Earlier in the year, the team reached out to Project Bell, a nonprofit organization founded by two sisters Isabella and Alexa in 2016, which provides ‘bells of hope’ to cancer centers. Similar to ringing bells after the completion of cancer treatment, the team wanted to install two bells at Dell Seton. One bell would be dedicated to living donors, located in the OR and rung before a donor goes into surgery. The other bell would be a transplant bell, located on the 4th floor, and rung when the recipient takes their first walk with their new organ.

Alexa was so moved by the thought of providing ‘bells of hope’ to transplant centers and also providing awareness of the need for organ donation, that she decided to expand Project Bell to include transplant programs!

Alexa and her mom, Wendy, traveled to Austin to attend the Bell Ceremony, tour Dell Seton and see the bells, and meet transplant staff and patients. The graciousness and generosity of Project Bell will always be recognised as each patient rings the bells to signify their new beginning.

Living Donor Bell Plaque Quote
Donating is a sacred exchange that fundamentally transforms and opens a part of you that you didn’t know existed to show you a better way to live.
– Timony B, Living Donor

Transplant Recipient Bell Plaque Quote
Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.
– Martin Luther King Jr.

With almost 8 million people in Texas estimated to have chronic kidney disease, the Abdominal Transplant Center continues to build partnerships in the central Texas community, as well as grow its staff. These outreach efforts and increased capacity will allow the team to care for more people in need of a kidney, as well as those willing to be a living kidney donor, in 2023 and beyond.

Published: December 2nd, 2022