JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – When her kidney failure got to the point that Tawanna Davis was attached to a dialysis machine three times a week, she knew the next step was a transplant.

On June 28, her 25-year-old son and only child, Quinten Hogan, made that possible when his left kidney was nestled into his mom’s abdomen. Not only did 45-year-old Davis get a second chance at life, she and her son made history at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) in Jackson..

From left, Tawanna Davis, son Quinten Hogan and Hogan’s stepdad, Spencer Davis, savor a group hug before Hogan was taken to surgery for removal of his left kidney to be donated to his mom. (Courtesy: UMMC)

Davis received the 3,000th organ transplanted at the hospital. The first came in June 1963, when Dr. James Hardy performed the world’s first human lung transplant.

“Any day that you do a live donor surgery, it’s a great day,” said Dr. Christopher Anderson, the James D. Hardy professor and chair of UMMC’s Department of Surgery. “Living donation is such a wonderful gift. It changes many lives – not just the recipient and the donor, but the whole family.”

Anderson removed Hogan’s kidney; Dr. Felicitas Koller, associate professor of transplant surgery, implanted it next to Davis’ two diseased organs.

“To do a live donor transplant on this occasion was extra special,” Anderson said. “This is a landmark number, and it’s telling that the majority of those have been done in the last decade. It speaks to the institutional commitment for transplant in the state of Mississippi.”

Because she received her kidney from a living donor, Davis got her transplant mere months after the decision was made. The Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency said that of the 1,300 Mississippians waiting for an organ transplant, about 900 need a kidney – and most of those won’t get one for an average three to five years.

Koller, associate professor of transplant surgery, reassures Tawanna Davis just before she’s rolled to surgery. Koller transplanted into Davis’ abdomen a kidney donated by Davis’ son, Quinten Hogan. (Courtesy: UMMC)

The Medical Center’s 3,000th transplant began at 7:30 a.m. with the laparoscopic removal of Hogan’s kidney by Anderson, who was recruited to the Medical Center in 2011 and given a mission: Bring back the liver transplant program following a 20-year hiatus, and build an abdominal transplant team to keep that momentum going. At the time, the Medical Center’s transplant program only included kidneys and hearts.

Hogan’s surgery ended at about 11:30 a.m. His mom’s began about an hour later, and her son’s kidney turned pink and immediately began producing urine as Koller completed the surgery.

Hogan said he is grateful for the gift of life – the life he has, thanks to the woman who bore him.

“I didn’t give her my kidney, because it’s her kidney,” he said. “She gave it to me.”

After her transplant, Davis’ level of creatinine – a waste product in urine that’s a measure of how well kidneys are performing – plummeted from more than 5 to a little over 1. Normal, Koller said, is less than .9.

“It’s amazing to see that one little kidney can do all that work in two days,” Koller said to Davis the day before her family took her home. “That’s a reflection of how a living donor surgery works.”