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Retired Butler Bulldog visits IU Health transplant nurses for Nurses Week

In 2020, Trip's handler Michael Kaltenmark received a kidney transplant from the hospital
Trip and kaltenmark.PNG
Posted at 7:17 PM, May 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-09 19:17:56-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Retired Butler Bulldog "Trip" came out of retirement to visit transplant nurses at IU Health University Hospital for Nurses Week.

Trip and his former handler Michael Kaltenmark visited the hospital on Tuesday.

Kaltenmark has a special connection to the transplant nurses at the hospital.

In 2020, Kaltenmark received a kidney transplant after battling with Crohn's Disease. His story was documented on the Netflix Show "Dogs."

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Over three years later, Kaltenmark is thanking the nurses that helped him in an operation that saved his life and allowed him to watch his two sons grow up.

"I'm doing so well, I count my blessing everyday," Kaltenmark said. "I tell people that I don't take my kidney transplant for granted, but it's also not something I think about everyday because I feel so good."

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Every nurse that was working in the transplant unit at IU Health during Kaltenmark's stay in 2020 is still working on the unit today.

Every nurse that worked in the transplant unit during Kaltenmark's stay is still working on the unit, according to the hospital.

"A kidney transplant is a big deal," Kaltenmark said. "To wake up with a new organ in your body, it requires a lot of care and these folks are professionals in every sense of the word. While we were here, we had a great stay. They took great care of myself, my brother who was the donor and my whole family."

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According to IU health, organ donations have recently declined at the hospital.

According to IU Health, applications for live organ donations have declined at IU Health.

In addition to thanking transplant nurses, Trip and Kaltenmark want to remind Hoosiers that donating a liver or kidney is the difference between life and death for over 1,000 people that are currently on the organ transplant list in Indiana today.