Sen. Jake Garn and daughter Susan Garn Horne walked out of Georgetown University Hospital on Wednesday, exactly a week after Garn donated one of his kidneys to her in an act he said "will mean more to me than anything I could ever do."
"I'm feeling great," Horne said. "I feel terrific," her father added.
Garn, a 53-year-old Utah Republican, told reporters: "We couldn't be more pleased with the outcome" of the transplant surgery, performed Sept. 10.
"It's exciting to know she's got that old space kidney working inside her," said the senator, who flew aboard the space shuttle Discovery in April, 1985.
No Sign of Rejection
G. Baird Helfrich, chief of Georgetown's division of transplantation, said Horne, 27, "has experienced no rejection activity." If no signs of rejection develop in the next three weeks, "and I wouldn't expect any," he said, "she will go on with her life."
Horne, the wife of Alan Horne of Vienna, Va., had suffered progressive kidney failure because of a diabetic condition.
Georgetown surgeon Ian J. Spence described Garn, who never before had been hospitalized, as "an absolutely model patient who has done everything requested of him. He arrived at Georgetown University Hospital in excellent health and is leaving in the same condition."
Garn said that "when I think of what a difference my kidney donation has already made for Sue, and how much better she feels already, I feel like this experience will mean more to me than anything I could ever do."
The senator was to fly to Utah to continue his recuperation. Doctors at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center have indicated that they expect Garn to remain at his home in Salt Lake City for at least two weeks. Horne returned to her suburban home and will remain an outpatient at Georgetown.