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Doctor saves a patient's life by donating his own kidney
Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash

5,000 people die per year while on the waitlist for a kidney transplant.

Doctors help save lives on a daily basis. However, this one went above and beyond in a single act of kindness.

As a kidney specialist, nephrologist Dr. Aji Djamali has spoken to countless organ donors over the years. Those conversations left him inspired.

“I was always in awe of their courage and how they were stepping up and being selfless and going through something they didn’t have to, to help another human being,” he said according to the Portland Press Herald.

It was the sort of sacrifice he aspired to make one day. However, the timing hadn’t been quite right. Djamali explained to People that he and his wife agreed that they would wait until their three children had grown up.

As destiny would have it, one of Dr. Djamali’s close friends and personal patients would provide him the perfect opportunity.


An exclusive reported by Medpage Today recounted Dr. Djamali’s eight-year friendship with John Jartz. The two first met when Jartz had been diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (PKD) at UW Health Transplant Center in Madison, Wisconsin. What started off as a doctor-patient relationship quickly evolved into a deeper bond due to “instant chemistry,” which lasted even after Jartz was transferred to a different nephrologist.

Then the time finally came for Jartz to need a kidney transplant. However, the 68-year-old had a rare blood type and faced a five- to seven-year wait for a kidney from a cadaver donor, reported People. Jartz likely didn’t have that long.

Djamali told his friend that, luckily, a donor was already available.

“Oh yeah, who?” Jartz urgently asked.

The 53-year-old physician answered: “me.”


"I lost it because, essentially, what someone is telling you when they say they want to be your donor, is, 'I want to save your life,'" Jartz told MedPage Today. "It just is really meaningful."

All three of Djamali’s children had already graduated and moved out, making the timing perfect. Plus he had a compatible blood type and could provide Jartz an organ from a living donor, which research has shown can exponentially improve survival rates.

Penn Medicine states that the shortage of kidneys available for transplantation in the United State is a “public health crisis,” with nearly 5,000 people dying each year while remaining on the waitlist for a door. Out of those 90,000 patients needing the procedure, only 20,000 transplants are performed annually.

Dr. Djamali hopes that the story’s widespread attention motivates others to consider donating as well. "Half of the reason was to help John," Djamali shared with People. "But the other reason was to encourage people to help others, to inspire them to consider stepping up and helping the 90,000-plus patients across the nation who are on waiting lists to get a transplant."

They say giving is receiving, but this takes the sentiment to a whole new level.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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True

You could say Marine biologist, divemaster and National Geographic Explorer Dr. Erika Woolsey is a bit of a coral reef whisperer, one who brings her passion for ocean science to folks on dry land in a fresh, innovative and fun new way using virtual reality.

Images courtesy of Meta’s Community Voices film series

Her non-profit, The Hydrous, combines science, design, and technology to provide one-of-a-kind experiential education about marine life. In 2018, Hydrous produced “Immerse 360”, a virtual underwater journey through the coral reefs of Palau, with Dr. Woolsey as a guide.

Viewers got to swim with sharks, manta rays and sea turtles while exploring gorgeous aquatic landscapes and learning about the crucial role our oceans play—all from 360° and 3D footage captured by VRTUL 2 underwater storytelling VR cameras.


Hydrous then expanded on the idea to develop two more exciting augmented adventures using Meta Quest 2 technology: “Expedition Palau,” a live event where audiences can share a “synchronized immersive reality experience”, which includes live narration from Woolsey, and “Explore,” a “CGI experience” to enjoy the magic of the ocean at home.


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“I’ve been extremely fortunate to explore and study coral reefs around the world,” Woolsey said, sharing that it was “heartbreaking” to see these important habitats decay so rapidly while the latest scientific reports did not clearly lead to widespread compassionate action.

“How do we care about something we never see or experience?” she reflected. As she discovered, virtual reality would be a powerful solution for eliciting empathy. “VR has the ability to generate presence and agency and make you feel like you’re there. It's that emotional connection that can bridge scientific discovery and public understanding”

The combination of virtual reality and the ocean’s natural breathtaking beauty is, as Woolsey puts it, a “match made in heaven” for getting people more engaged in ocean education. “When you’re floating you can look up and down and all around you…seeing a school of fish surrounding you and reefs in these cathedral-like structures. Rather than watching a video of a scientist, you get to become the scientist.”

Hydrous also has special kits to provide middle school students hands-on learning about ocean life. In addition to a journal, activity cards and a smartphone VR viewer, each kit includes lifelike 3D printed model pieces of a coral reef so that middle school students can try building their own.

These reef models even turn white when temperatures rise inside the aquarium, which mimics the real “bleaching” that corals endure when they die due to higher than normal ocean temperatures. Students really do become scientists as they figure out how to bring color back to their reef.

While it’s true that the health of our oceans affects us all, the growing threats our oceans face—pollution, overfishing, climate change—don’t always affect us on an empathetic level. Through the use of technology, Woolsey has created an innovative way to connect hearts and minds to one of the Earth’s most important resources, which can inspire real and lasting change.

“We can’t bring everybody to the ocean, but we’re finding scalable ways to bring the ocean to everyone.”

To learn more about Hydrous, click here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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