Chicago hospital marks major organ transplant milestone

Northwestern Medicine is celebrating a major milestone for its surgical program.

The hospital recently completed their 10,000th abdominal organ transplant procedure. What it means for the hospital is that Northwestern has become the first health system in Illinois to achieve that milestone.

The record was reached after the organization completed its most single year abdominal organ transplant procedures.

Northwestern's organ transplant program dates all the way back to 1964. Since then, they've done more than 6,500 kidney transplants, more than 2,600 liver transplants and more than 850 pancreas transplants.

In total for 2023, Northwestern Medicine performed 518 abdominal transplants -- the eighth-highest rate in the nation.

Liver and kidney transplant patient Ray Gutierrez spoke about his experience.

"I received my transplant October 5th and my birthday was October 9th, which I had turned 50 on October 9th," Gutierrez said. "So honestly it was the best birthday gift I could ever imagine and receive. It obviously overjoyed me and obviously my family. So ever since then, I've been getting stronger and better."

Northwestern said going forward, it’s focused on clinical trials and research to continue supporting as many patients as possible.

If you're interested in becoming a living transplant donor, you can learn more at