Patient Stories

Legacy reaches milestone with 2,000th kidney transplant

April 09, 2024

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In 1999, Legacy opened its Transplant Services, giving patients with kidney failure hope for a brighter future. This year, our 2,000th transplant patient received the gift of a new kidney.

Since opening, Legacy has provided comprehensive, cutting-edge kidney transplant care. Our surgeons keep abreast of the latest training and technology. One example is Dr. Nathan Osbun who performs robotics surgery in the transplant program.

Dr. Bill Bennett was one of the early physicians in Legacy’s transplant program.

“Our motto was simple Be nice, available and answer the phone,” he said. “Over the years many people contributed to the growth and status of the program to the largest living donor program in the northwest. We were the first to do a laparoscopic living donor surgery, and first to do robotic donor surgery. All the while we have been able to continue our focus to be nice and answer the phone.”

To honor our milestone during donor life month and celebrate with our transplant teams and kidney recipients, we’d like to introduce you to Mary Basile, the first transplant patient at Legacy. She also happened to be treated by Dr. Bennett.

She’ll explain in her own words what this experience has meant to her life.
Photo of Mary Basile at the beach
I had never really been #1 at anything in my life until Nov. 12, 1999, when I became the first kidney transplant recipient at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital. I was age 42 at the time.

I learned at age 29 when pregnant with our son in Atlanta, GA., that I had a kidney disease called IGA Nephropathy. I could not even pronounce the word. We moved to the Washington D.C. area due to my husband's corporate job. He then accepted a new position in Vancouver, WA., in 1997.

I was not happy at all about moving once again across country knowing my kidney function was only 23% and the odds that my kidneys would fail were very likely. My family lived in Kentucky, and one of my five siblings was going to be my donor.

Ultimately, we learned though that it was fate and God's plan that we moved not because of my husband's career but because I was being referred to Dr. William Bennett as my nephrologist. I Google everything, and when I looked up Dr. Bennett's biography, I was very impressed.

Little did I know when I met him and became his patient that he would save my life not once, but twice. I knew that I was in the best of hands with Dr. Bennett's medical expertise in nephrology. I developed a trust in him as my doctor that I had not known before and never have since. It is because of Dr. Bennett's vision to create a transplant team, including surgeons like Dr. Kevin McEvoy and Dr. Viken Douzdjian, and a staff that "think outside the box" and put the patient's needs first and foremost.

Today we celebrate Dr. Bennett and the transplant team, including the doctors, surgeons, nurses, and entire staff in devoting their professional careers in saving the lives of over 2,000 kidney transplant recipients and positively impacting the lives of their family members.
I am now 67 years old enjoying my life. I never imagined that I would live long enough to experience God's blessing of grandchildren. I recall the dark days when I prayed that I would live long enough to see my only child graduate from high school. It has been such a gift to watch my son grow and develop into a 37-year-old successful businessman with two beautiful children. I have been very blessed to have a wonderful husband who supported me through all the ups and downs.

And last, but not least, the special kidney donors who gave me the gift of life — my brother, William Overstreet, and my best friend, Anne Pallotta, my second kidney donor in 2018. They are both in good health today.

Kidney donors are the unsung heroes who do not get the recognition that they truly deserve. They are special angels on earth — the most selfless, generous, kindest, giving people who put other people's needs ahead of their own.

May Legacy's Kidney Transplant program continue to save thousands more lives!
Professional headshot photo of Dr Bill Bennett

William (Bill) Bennett, M.D.

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