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The Brendan Tripp Elam Transplant Center at Children's Mercy is one of the leading pediatric transplant programs in the country with some of the best outcomes. Our team will help guide you and your family through the process through our expertise.

Our programs

A young boy in glasses and a Chiefs hat sits in a hospital bed
A line drawing of the human heart
Heart Transplant Program

The Heart Failure and Transplant Program provides exceptional care to children of all ages with cardiomyopathy and congenital heart disease. We care for some of the most complex patients while maintaining 100% patient and graft survival at 90 days and 1 year, which is better than our expected outcomes and the national average.

A teen boy with dreadlocks and a hoodie smiles at the camera
A line drawing of the human liver
Liver Transplant Program

One of the busiest pediatric liver transplant programs in the U.S., we perform liver transplants in children of all ages. Our exceptional outcomes include lowest pediatric wait times and survival rates that are better than the national average.

A young blond girl in a yellow t-shirt with a yellow bow in her hair smiles for the camera
A line drawing of the human kidneys
Kidney Transplant Program

We have performed more than 400 pediatric kidney transplants, making us one of the largest pediatric kidney transplant programs in the region. Our outcomes are among the best in the country, including survival rates that are better than the national average.

 

Children's Mercy performed its first kidney transplant over 30 years ago. Since that time, we have continued to grow and expand. We are now one of the busiest and most successful transplant programs in our region. Our collaborative team approach to care has achieved some of the best outcomes in the nation.

What sets us apart

  • Regional leader in multi-organ transplant
    • Heart/liver en bloc
    • Liver/kidney en bloc

  • 100% 90-day and 1-year graft survival (SRTR 7/2023)
    • Liver
    • Heart
    • Kidney

  • More solid organ transplants in children younger than 5 years old than any other hospital in the region

  • Regional leader in number of patients who receive ventricular assist devices (VADs)

  • Living kidney transplant program

  • Split liver transplant

Expert care


Your Children’s Mercy transplant team has been specially trained to meet the unique needs of your child and the whole family. The transplant coordinators and physicians are always available to answer your questions.

Your team will include:

  • Transplant surgeons
  • Transplant physicians (specialists in heart, kidney and liver care)
  • Transplant nurse coordinators
  • Transplant pharmacists
  • Infectious disease physicians
  • Registered dieticians/nutritionists
  • Psychologists
  • Social worker
  • Child life specialists
  • Spiritual services
  • Financial coordinators
  • … and others
Learn more about your transplant team


Experience and outcomes

 


You can feel comfortable knowing that our transplant team performs many successful solid organ transplants each year.

Children’s Mercy is also a leader in transplant outcomes, meaning that our patients do as well or better than the national average. View survival rates and outcomes for our three programs:

Transplant volumes by year

Annual Outcomes Report 2022-2023

Outcomes are better when care is connected. Read about our multidisciplinary team, and view highlights of the outstanding outcomes achieved by the Transplant Center.

What to expect from the Transplant Center


We know that a transplant surgery is stressful time for families. Our goal is to prepare children and families for what to expect during a transplant, from start to finish, so you feel empowered to best navigate your child’s care.

Organ donation

Join the donor registry


You can help raise awareness about the importance of organ, eye, and tissue donation by joining the donor registry at Donate Life America and by sharing your decision with your family. You can also follow Midwest Transplant Network on social media and share informative posts with your social network.

Organ Donation Medal of Honor


Our goal is to find an organ for every child who needs one. That is why we are committed supporters of organ donation. Children’s Mercy has twice been honored with the Organ Donation Medal of Honor by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, achieving greater than 95 percent authorization for organ donation.

Stories

Milestone Moment: Dr. Hendrickson’s 100th Liver Transplant

Congratulations to Dr. Richard Hendrickson, who recently completed his 100th liver transplant here at Children’s Mercy. Despite the long hours and challenging cases, performing transplant surgery is incredibly meaningful to him. "If I can get a child out of the hospital in good health, that's rewarding," he said. Learn more about his 14 years of amazing work at Children's Mercy.

Read his story
Dr. holds cake in celebration of 100th liver transplant.

Father-Son Kidney Transplant: Jack and Geoff's Story

Less than 30% of pediatric kidney transplants come from living donors. In 2019, Geoff gave a kidney to his son, Jack. Today, they are both thriving.

Meet Jack and Geoff
Today, Jack and Geoff are thriving and taking on fun, new adventures together.

En bloc Liver/Kidney Transplant: Trevion’s Story

When you see 13-year-old Trevion goofing around with his dad and sisters and playing basketball with his friends, you would never know that he recently had a double organ transplant to replace his liver and kidney. Trevion was the first Children’s Mercy Kansas City patient to receive an en bloc liver/kidney transplant.

Meet Trevion
A Black, teenage boy with dreadlocks smiles at the camera.

Mother-Daughter Kidney Transplant: Clara's story

Born with one kidney, Clara faced many health challenges. With help from Children's Mercy and mom, Vivi, Clara continues exploring the world and singing along to her mom's favorite tunes. 

Meet Clara

Biliary atresia and Liver transplant: Lacie’s story

Lacie was born with biliary atresia. The Liver Care Center has been with this determined young woman every step of the way, from her first NICU stay to her “textbook” liver transplant 14 years later.

Meet Lacie
Portrait photo of Lacie.

Kidney transplant: Julio's story

At the age of six, Julio, was living with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). The disorder does not respond well to medications and Julio received a kidney transplant and care after from Children's Mercy. Thanks to the care Julio has received, he can enjoy his favorite hobbies like going to the park, riding his bike and playing soccer.

Heart transplant: Hannah's story

Fifteen year old Hannah could pretend her heart wasn’t a problem during marching band practice by “fake playing” as she paraded around the field. But eventually, the cardiomyopathy that plagued her family forced her off the field and into a hospital bed. There, she could only wait for a donor heart to save her life. Hannah became the first heart-transplant patient at Children's Mercy.

A young adult man with a beard smiles in an outdoor setting.

The inspiration behind our center

Brendan Tripp Elam was diagnosed with a rare hereditary disorder, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (A1AD), when he was only a few weeks old. At age 10, Brendan received a liver transplant at Children’s Mercy after developing peritonitis, a potentially life-threatening infection. He was able to return home nine days later.

Brendan’s grandparents, Montie and Marjorie Tripp, were so grateful for the expert and compassionate care the Children’s Mercy team provided their grandson. Their generous gift supports the Children’s Mercy transplant program, which was re-named the Brendan Tripp Elam Transplant Center.

Today, Brendan is pursuing a degree in music education at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and plans to become a music educator.