How Spain became the world leader in organ transplants

In the next few hours he will receive a healthy kidney thanks to a pioneering system that has made Spain the world leader in organ transplants for the past 25 years.

How Spain became the world leader in organ transplants

World Bulletin / News Desk

Juan Benito Druet has just learned that his life may be about to change.

"We don't know what will happen. but you have to take a chance," said Druet, 63, a reserved and moustachioed boilermaker, as he lays in his bed at Madrid's La Paz hospital.

Hospital staff try to reassure him by telling him organ transplants are carried out every day in Spain.

Doctors performed 4,818 transplants last year, including 2,994 kidney transplants, according to the health ministry's National Transplant Organisation (ONT).

That means there were 43.4 organ donors per million inhabitants last year, a world record, up from 40.2 donors in 2015.

By comparison in the United States there were just 28.2 donors per million inhabitants in 2015, 28.1 in France and 10.9 in Germany, according to the Council of Europe.

"It is even better than if we had won the jackpot in the lottery," says Druet's wife Jeronima, 60, as she sits close to him along with the couple's two adult children.

Now she dreams of going on a cruise with her husband, something impossible as long as he needed to be hooked to a 15-kilo (33-pound) kidney dialysis machine every night to filter his blood.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Nisan 2017, 10:08