All-female team performs 5000th life-saving organ transplant on teen at University Health Transplant Center

Hayes Atkins, 14, received kidney from his mother

Hayes Atkins, 14 (University Health)

SAN ANTONIO – University Health Transplant Center is celebrating a remarkable milestone in its 50-year history with its first all-female transplant team.

“It’s a great celebration of our accomplishments,” said Dr. Elizabeth Thomas, one of the surgeons who led the all-women team.

All-female transplant team at University Health (University Health)

Hayes Atkins, a 14-year-old from Austin, was the 5000th patient to receive a life-saving organ transplant at the University Health Transplant Center.

“I’m kind of anxious and kind of nervous,” Hayes said before his surgery.

The teen received a kidney from his mother, Sara Atkins, who says she did what any mother would do for the sake of her son’s health.

“I think any mother would have jumped in and done the exact same thing. It was a given that I would,” Atkins said through tears.

She said she was comforted knowing her son was in good hands during his surgery with an all-female transplant team.

“As a mom, I was comforted that he had, you know, someone in there holding his hand,” Atkins said.

As for Hayes, he says he’s glad he doesn’t have to take his strong-tasting medicine anymore and is ready to continue growing.

“I’m more energetic, and I’ll start to grow more,” Hayes said after his surgery.

Watch Hayes’ story in the video below:

About the Author:

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio since 2016. His work for KSAT 12 and includes covering breaking news of the day, as well as producing Q&As and content for the "South Texas Pride" and "KSAT Money" series.