Dana Sepulveda, then terminally ill, got the call from her doctor in June that the liver and kidney she needed were available — if she got to the hospital in Manhattan in 90 minutes.
The Massapequa mother of two — who is married to an NYPD officer — said she was shaking and desperate to get to Mount Sinai Hospital when she walked into the Nassau County Police Department’s Seventh Precinct in Seaford asking for help at about 6 a.m. on June 26.
The Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute, which opened Friday in Manchester, will be led by Dean Kamen, who invented the Segway, an all-terrain electric wheelchair and several other devices. The University of New Hampshire and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center will be part of the institute.
Kamen, speaking after an opening ceremony, said he was optimistic the institute could develop artificial skin, bones and nerves and eventually organs that could be implanted into patients in the next few years. He said it would start with developing the technology allowing for the production of pieces of organs and “way down the road” producing livers, kidneys and lungs. He said one of the challenges is figuring out which organs would be easiest to reproduce.
Kamen said the goal was to scale up the developments in regenerative medicine by forming this public-private partnership, which brings together 26 universities and medical centers, 80 private companies and nearly $300 million in government and private-sector funding.