Health Psychologist talks about mental aspect for patients after Memorial Hermann pauses kidney and liver program

HOUSTON – The news about Memorial Hermann Hospital pausing its liver and kidney transplant programs has left many patients and their families facing uncertainty and emotional turmoil.

KPRC2′s Re’Chelle Turner spoke to Dr. Glenda Demas who is a health psychologist. She wanted transplant patients and their families to know that they are not alone—she said support is so important because so many people have waited months or even years to get a lifesaving organ. She spoke to Turner about counseling services and signs families should look out for

SEE ALSO: Texas transplant patient shares thoughts after Memorial Hermann abruptly shuts down transplant programs

“I would highly recommend group therapy for any family that has been faced with this challenge. In order to matriculate through such a challenging time, it would be great to have a system of support, and that’s other families that have experienced the exact same, just to see how they’re coping through this. Now, if you see that your loved one is, you know, feeling a little more isolated, having suicidal ideations, you want to immediately give them in with a trusted mental health professional, so that they can provide them with that psychological support,” Dr. Demas said.

Dr. Demas says the process is not easy for patients. She spoke to Turner about the mental aspect of finding out they need and kidney or liver and the steps they have to go through.

“This isn’t something that they just sign their name on a list and say, okay, you know, you’re a great candidate, let’s move forward. No, they have to go through an immense amount of preparation to even be considered as a candidate. You know, stress tests, they do a lot of blood work, a lot of doctor visits that they have to go to on a consistent basis, making sure that they check in. They have to make sure that every other area of their health remains, you know, in at the state that it needs to be at so that their body can receive this new organ that they’re about to, you know, have,” she said.

Dr. Demas says patients are worried, sad and have a lot of anxiety about what is going to happen next.

“Anytime you put a patient in a situation where they’re hopeful and then now they’re pulled out of that state of hope and optimism and placed into this space of disarray, emotional dysregulation, the families are now placed in a position where they have to figure out how to render support to them. They were once hopeful about a positive change that was going to take place for them and now that positivity, that ray of light has been snatched from them,” she said.

SEE ALSO: Medical Ethicist: Reason behind possible transplant tampering mysterious

Dr. Demas is happy to help patients and their families. You can reach out to her directly at Her website, is

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