On Thursday 23 October, Prince Daniel attended the Swedish Transplantation Society's anniversary celebrations. The event began with a symposium, Transplantation Then, Now and in the Future, at Karolinska Institutet. The day concluded with a gala dinner at Stockholm City Hall.
The celebrations marked the 50th anniversary of the first kidney transplantation to be carried out in Sweden. It is also 40 years since the first pancreas transplant, and 30 years since the first heart and liver transplants.
The day began with a symposium, Transplantation Then, Now and in the Future, in the Aula Medica at Karolinska Institutet. There, Professor Bo-Göran Ericzon, Head of the Division of Transplantation Surgery at KI, welcomed all those present. He gave an introductory address about organ transplants as the most natural treatment. An organ transplant involves restoring a function that the body has lost, enabling nature's way of dealing with that function to continue.
During the afternoon, docent Göran Lundgren spoke about kidney transplants in the 1960s, and Chairman of the Swedish Transplantation Society docent Per Lindnér described how transplants are carried out today.
Rafael Perez Valenciano gave a patient's perspective, recounting how he received a new kidney 44 years ago. Within a couple of months of the operation, he felt just as well as he did before becoming sick. Today, Rafael is over 80 years old.
Spokeswoman for More Organ Donation (MOD) Martha Ehlin spoke about how she was diagnosed with cancer six years ago and faced a choice between chemotherapy and waiting for an organ donation. Five years ago, Martha received five new organs.
The day concluded with a gala dinner in the Blue Hall at Stockholm City Hall. During the dinner, The Prince gave a speech in which he said:
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the committed people I have met in connection with dialysis at Serafen and my transplant at KI in Huddinge. I have seen firsthand how well you look after all patients, children and adults alike, and their worried parents and relatives. I am full of admiration.
"And to all of you around Sweden who are involved in these issues in various ways – doctors, nurses, researchers, organisations, donors and relatives – thank you for your important work. You save lives!
"Finally, I would like to spare a thought for all those who have not been as fortunate as me, or maybe you: All those who wait and fight, and those who waited in vain."
The anniversary celebrations were arranged by the Swedish Transplantation Society together with Karolinska Institutet.
The Swedish Transplantation Society is an association of doctors and other medical practitioners from various specialities with a clinical, scientific or professional interest in organ donation and transplanting organs and tissue. The society is affiliated to both the Swedish Society of Medicine and the Swedish Medical Association.