One of two Fresenius dialysis machines purchased by the Willie Stargell Foundation. (Source: WECT)
Fresenius diaysis machine (Source: WECT)
Willie Stargell, former Pittsburgh Pirate great and member of MLB's Hall of Fame, died from kidney failure in 2001 (Source: National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -
New Hanover Regional Medical Center has a new way to treat kidney disease and it involves two machines called the Fresenius.
"These are the best machines in the world," said Dr. James McCabe, a nephrologist with Southeastern Nephrology.
They work like a surrogate kidney and are far more precise.
"Your body can get rid of water when it doesn't need it and holds on to it when it needs it and this machine will allow us to do the same," stated McCabe."It takes the guessing game out of us. I don't think we've always had to come and make clinical decisions about how much fluid to take off people and now we're having better and better technology to regulate that."
Each machine is between $15,000 and $20,000.
The machines were purchased with money raised from the annual Willie Stargell Celebrity Golf Invitational in Wilmington.
Willie Stargell, a former Pittsburgh Pirate and Major League Baseball Hall of Fame member, was not diagnosed with kidney failure until long after his playing days, but the daily dialysis treatments took a toll.
A year after his death in 2001, his widow, Margaret Weller-Stargell, started the golf tournament to raise money to help local people living with the same disease that claimed her husband's life.
The two machines are an addition to eight other dialysis machines used in the Willie Stargell dialysis center at New Hanover.
The foundation also purchased a critical care machine used in ICU at the hospital; nicknamed the Willie.
McCabe was Stargell's physician and said he believes he would be very proud of what is being done in his name.
"I think Willie today would be looking down and saying this is great this is ultimately my life, my legacy is going to show that we have something here that I"m very proud of," said McCabe.
For more information on the Willie Stargell Celebrity Golf Invitational, click here.