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About Last Chance Transplant

Every day, for people all over the U.S., the wait for a life-saving organ transplant is the difference between a renewed lease on life and death. From Executive Producer Robin Roberts, LAST CHANCE TRANSPLANT will premiere on discovery+, the definitive non-fiction, real-life subscription streaming service, on September 22nd. This new, emotional and heart-pounding series will give viewers an inside look at the race against the clock to transplant and save human life.

“Last Chance Transplant opens the door to six deeply personal and emotional stories about organ donation. When we first heard about this project, we immediately knew we needed to share these journeys faced by so many people, families and communities and help spread an inspiring message of hope,” said Howard Lee, President of TLC Streaming and Network Originals.

“My journey with MDS and my bone marrow transplant was one of the toughest fights of my life. Thanks to my sister and bone marrow donor Sally-Ann as well as my doctors, nurses, family and friends, I was able to focus on the fight and not the fright,” said Robin Roberts. “I am honored to share the stories of six courageous individuals as they await a life-saving transplant and the team of people who lift them up along the way. Their determination is truly inspiring.”

At Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in Nashville, Tennessee, extremely sick patients come from all walks of life to seek life-saving organ transplants. LAST CHANCE TRANSPLANT follows six patients, two in each close-ended episode, who are all waiting for a life-saving donor, something that many people will never receive. These patients have put all hopes of survival into the hands of the esteemed medical staff and surgeons at VUMC’s Transplant Center and, at times, lifesaving decisions come down to the hour and minute in this fast-paced medical arena. These surgeons perform hundreds of transplants every year. Whether it’s a new heart, liver, kidney or lungs, every moment counts. Even as these doctors and organ procurement teams fight for their patients’ lives by pushing the boundaries of medical science 24/7, they know that every situation is unique It’s always a matter of life or death.

The patients featured in LAST CHANCE TRANSPLANT are:

Krystal Powers, a patient with end stage heart failure, is admitted to Vanderbilt for testing to see if she is a candidate for a heart transplant. While Krystal waits for her test results, she suffers a major heart attack and is placed on an ECMO, a heart and lung bypass machine, to help keep her alive. The transplant team gets her listed on the UNOS transplant list as status 1 – meaning, she is at the top of the list for a new heart.

Carlos Calloway is a young father who was active and healthy until he suddenly fell ill and was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney disease. The only way that Carlos can survive long-term is through a kidney transplant, but he and his partner Juanita are shocked to realize how many people die while waiting for their transplant, given how difficult it is to find a matching live donor.

Reverend KenYatta Braxton is a successful pastor, a devoted husband and father of two who has been diagnosed with both end stage heart disease and severe lung disease caused by Covid-19, which means he needs a new heart and a double lung transplant – a procedure that hasn’t been done within the pandemic setting. A week after being admitted to Vanderbilt, the team manages to secure the donor organs that KenYatta needs to survive. However, before the organs arrive, KenYatta’s heart fails and the team moves quickly to put him on a bypass machine.

Jeff Fuqua is a patient with end-stage liver disease and a history of alcohol and drug abuse, which ultimately led to his diagnosis. With help from his ex-wife Lois, Jeff is now sober and wants a second chance at life so that he can be there for his granddaughter. When Jeff receives a much-anticipated call from Vanderbilt that there is a match for a liver transplant, he rushes to the hospital to prepare for surgery.

Rob Morris suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, which has seriously impacted his lungs as well, forcing him to use supplemental oxygen to survive. After watching him struggle to breathe for years, his wife Lori refers Rob to Vanderbilt before he succumbs to this disease. He is immediately placed on the list for a double lung transplant, and after six weeks on the waiting list, Rob and Lori receive an offer call from the transplant team.

Joe Eitl is a miracle patient with Down syndrome and congenital heart disease who wasn’t expected to live past his first birthday. With no less than 17 heart surgeries under his belt, Joe continues to defy the odds – living a vibrant life and excelling in the Special Olympics. However, he is in desperate need of a heart and liver transplant and has been turned away from other hospitals – until Vanderbilt agrees to evaluate his case.

For more information on discovery+, visit discoveryplus.com. Viewers can join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #lastchancetransplant and can follow discovery+ on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

LAST CHANCE TRANSPLANT is produced for discovery+ by 44 Blue Productions, LLC, A Red Arrow Studios Company, and Rock’n Robin Productions.

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