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Transplant and Regenerative Medicine Centre

The SickKids Transplant and Regenerative Medicine Centre (TRMC) is Canada's most research-intensive paediatric transplant program and the largest centre dedicated to comprehensive transplant care in the country.

Our case volumes are now within the top five per cent of centres in North America, and our Hospital’s survival rates match or exceed the best programs. With a staff that includes professionals from all disciplines of health care and research, the TRMC provides the best in complex and specialized care by creating scientific and clinical advancements, sharing knowledge and expertise, and advocating on behalf of children who need transplant care. 

As innovators in transplantation, the TRMC improves the health of children by seamlessly integrating care, research, and teaching.

The TRMC at SickKids is founded on a tradition of innovation, a strong interdisciplinary approach and a wealth of expertise from the diverse team. This video highlights the successes, key milestones and impact of the individual organ transplant programs.

We are committed to providing accessible formats as part of our commitment to Accessibility. Captions are available on this video through YouTube.

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Learn how our clinicians, educators and researchers are impacting child health at the TRMC.


Meet the team leading SickKids’ cutting-edge research in transplant and regenerative medicine.

  • Dr. Upton Allen - Interim Medical Director, Transplant and Regenerative Medicine Centre
  • Kate Langrish - Executive Clinical Director
  • Dr. Anne Dipchand - Medical Director, Heart Transplant Program
  • Dr. Chia Wei Teoh - Medical Director, Kidney Transplant Program
  • Dr. Vicky Ng - Medical Director, Liver Transplant Program
  • Dr. Melinda Solomon - Medical Director, Lung Transplant Program
  • Dr. Yaron Avitzur - Director, Group for Improvement of Intestinal Function and Treatment (GIFT)
    Medical Director, Joint program in Intestine Transplantation (UHN & SickKids)

Transplant nursing

The nurses who work for the transplant programs at SickKids are a vital part of their patients’ transplant journeys.  

They are the first line of contact for families as they help patients prepare for surgery leading up to transplant day — and continue to be their touchpoint as they follow their patients post-transplant.  

Organ and tissue transplants have the power to change lives. Watch this video to meet some of our team of passionate nurses who help make it happen. 


[SickKids logo appears on a white background] 

[Stephanie Dyriw sits in a chair in front of a window]  

Dyriw: To go from a healthy boy to like, his liver was shutting down. This can happen. And it can happen to your child. I can happen to anyone’s child. What if I wasn’t a match? 

[A sign reading “Transplant and Regenerative Medicine Centre”] 

Text on screen: In 2022, SickKids performed 65 transplants. 

[The camera pans down a SickKids hallway lined with windows] 

[A flyer reading “The kidney” with illustrations of kidneys hangs on a wall] 


Text on screen: Little lives changed in a big way.  

[A closeup of the face of a child wearing a mask] 

[A sheet of paper reading “Liver transplant clinic registration” is displayed through a window] 

Text on screen: Meet some of the team that makes it happen.  

[A child wearing a mask sits upright on an examination bed as a nurse wearing a pink shirt and a mask looks on] 

[Two people wearing full white protective suits and blue shoe covers walk down a hospital hallway carrying a red zip-up cooler] 

[Registered Nurse Margaret Schwan speaks to the camera from a chair in front of a window] 

Text on screen: Margaret Schwan, RN. Multiple Organ Transplant Program 

Schwan: Working on the multi-organ transplant unit is super rewarding. You get to see kids all along the continuum of health. You get to see kids who are sick and who need a transplant. 

[The camera follows behind Schwan as she walks through a hospital unit wearing a blue shirt with the word “Transplant” written on the back] 

Schwan: You get to see kids and families during that very difficult but incredible time of when they get an organ transplantation. 

[Schwan sanitizes her hands outside a door to a patient’s room before knocking on the door] 

Schwan: And then you get to see kids when they get an organ transplantation.  

[Schwan greets a patient who is lying in a hospital bed holding a stuffed toy. She wraps a blood pressure cuff around their arm before checking the monitor next to the bed] 

Schwan: And then you get to see kids recover from that organ and see the benefits that it can bring, and really that it’s life-saving and life-changing. 

[Schwan holds a thermometer in her patient’s mouth] 

[Registered Nurse Jennifer Stunguris sits in a room in front of a window] 

Text on screen: Jennifer Stunguris, RN, Liver/Bowel Transplant Program  

Stunguris: I just love watching the kids’ journey. I always say, it’s such a privilege to be part of their journey and see parts of it that maybe even their close family and friends don’t get to witness. 

[A sign reading “6436 Transplant Waiting Room] 

[Stunguris stands and speaks to her patient, who is seated on an examination bed wearing a mask] 

Stunguris: Just having the privilege to really see the gift of life — that’s truly what transplant is, is the gift of life for these kids.   

[Registered Nurse Liz Dale sits in front of a window] 

Text on screen: Liz Dale, RN, Kidney Transplant Program 

Dale: I mean, I think in the transplant program, we are sort of their person. 

[Dale and her patient walk together down a hallway chatting, both wearing masks] 

Dale: We are their touch point.  

[The patient sits on a teal couch and speaks to Dale, who is seated in a chair facing them] 

[Dale wraps a blood pressure cuff around her patient’s arm]  

Dale: You know, the doctors change from week to week, the fellows change from month to month, but the constant person is always going to be your nurses and so we end up becoming their support person. Their first line of contact, their sometimes we call it their 9-1-1.  

[Dyriw speaks to the camera] 

Text on screen: Stephanie Dyriw, Parent and Organ Donor 

Dyriw: I worry less because I know I have these nurses behind who are going to take care of us. And so it’s sort of like, tell me what I need to know when I need to know it, they’ve got us. And that, as a mother, is like security. It’s the best thing in the world.  

[A sign reading “6A” with an arrow pointing to the right] 

[The camera pans to show a view of the elevator and each of the levels of the atrium at SickKids] 

[A sign reading “6A, Nephrology/Transplant Endocrinology Unit, GI/Nutrition Rheumatology Unit] 

[A sign reading “6429 Heart-Lung Transplant] 

[A sign reading 6430 Liver/Bowel Transplant Office with a sticker of a yellow smiley face wearing sunglasses] 

Schwan: So, I’m a charge nurse on 6A, which is the Multi-Organ Transplant inpatient unit. Some children we know almost from birth that they’re going to need an organ transplantation and those kids may be hospitalized to start the organ assessment process. 

[Schwan speaks to the camera from a chair in front of a window] 

Schwan: Sometimes kids come in who are previously healthy and they’ve become very sick, and they also need to be worked up for a transplant assessment.  

[Schwan exits a patient room wearing a stethoscope around her neck. She sanitizes her hands as she walks away] 

[Schwan types on a keyboard and looks at a screen in a hospital hallway]  

[Schwan walks over to another hospital worker who is seated at a computer at a nursing station, and sits down in a chair next to them] 

Schwan: Once the child is listed, sometimes they’re too sick to be at home while they’re waiting for an organ donation, and some of those kids will stay with us for months at a time while they wait for an organ to be available for them.  

[Dale speaks to the camera as she sits in front of a window] 

Dale: I work in pre- and post-transplant, so I get to work with the patients while we’re working them up for their kidney transplant and then I follow them after as well.  

[The camera pans across an empty examination bed] 

[Dale’s patient stands with their hands in their pockets, smiling back at Dale] 

[The patient sits on a teal couch and leans forward as Dale, who is seated in a chair facing them, speaks and reads from a computer screen] 

Dale: We do a lot of organizing of getting them ready for all the consults they’re going to need, procedures they’re going to need. Getting all that sorted and worked out.  

[Dale turns to the patient’s parent who is seated across from them and speaks with the parent while nodding her head]  

Dale: We also do a number of hours of teaching with the family and the patient. So, what’s this journey going to be like? Who are you going to meet? What tests are you going to have, what procedures are you going to have?  

[Dale speaks to the camera in front of a window] 

Dale: What’s going to happen at the time of transplant or, if you’re waiting on the waitlist versus if you have a living donor. 

[An elevator display shows floors moving downward from 8 to 7 to 6 before the elevator doors open] 

[The camera moves through a hospital hallway decorated with stars and a colourful graphic of a heart on a wall at the end of the hallway] 

Dyriw: You know, a lot of this was happening incredibly quickly for us, we didn’t have time to process.  

Text on screen: Footage supplied by family. 

[Dyriw holds her child in her lap and rocks back and forth] 

Dyriw: We had these nurses sitting down with us and explaining what had happened and what was going to happen next for the long term. All of a sudden, my son had a transplant, and it was big. 

[Dyriw and her child hold up the hems of their shirts to show off the scars on their stomachs] 

Dyriw: And just the time. Even now we’re almost a year and a half post-op.  

[Dyriw’s child runs in front of a white background carrying a stuffed toy] 

[Dyriw speaks to the camera in front of a window] 

Dyriw: They care so much about us, they care so much about me. And so when I have questions, if I’m afraid of things, if fears start to come up, they take the time, they walk me through it.  

[Schwan speaks to the camera from a chair in front of a window] 

Schwan: For sure, the child is our focus, but definitely the family as well.  

[Schwan stands next to her patient’s bed speaking to two parents who are seated on a couch]

Schwan: The parents have a ton of questions. They’re very nervous but excited at the same time, and stressed and scared. So the nursing role really does focus on the whole family as well as the child. 

[Schwan nods to the parents and turns back to her patient, who shakes their head in agreement as Schwan speaks to both the parents and the patient] 

[Stunguris stands and speaks to her patient, who is seated on an examination bed wearing a mask. The patient’s parent is standing next to the bed wearing a mask] 

Stunguris: Working with the families is such a roller-coaster. There are so many emotions and, I think what’s unique about our program is our families have known us for years.  

[The patient fidgets with their hands as Stunguris talks with the parent]  

[Stunguris speaks to the camera in front of a window] 

Stunguris: Having that relationship and remembering their journey that they went on with them, and getting to watch them grow and thrive and become everything they wanted to be when they were so very, very sick.  

[Dale’s patient sits on a teal couch and speaks to Dale, who is seated in a chair facing them] 

Dale: I think it’s just seeing them be able to get back into being regular kids — be with their friends, go to school, have their first sleepover maybe.  

[Dale speaks to the camera in front of a window] 

Dale: And helping them through that, helping their parents through that as well. 

[Schwan’s patient laughs and smiles from their hospital bed holding a stuffed toy] 

[Schwan speaks to the camera from a chair in front of a window] 

Schwan: As they get better, we get to see them become more like themselves, more like kids. And the parents, it’s really amazing to see their kids change too.  

[Dyriw speaks to the camera in front of a window] 

Dyriw: All of the nurses, all of the teams, the aftercare. It’s next level. It’s so reassuring, it’s so human, and it’s so beautiful. 


[SickKids logo appears on a white background] 

Patient and family resources

  • FitKids: A Practical Guide To Raising Healthy And Active Children From Birth To Teens (2004)  
    Authors:  Mary L. Gavin, Steven A. Dowshen and Neil Izenberg
  • New Toddler Taming - A Parents Guide To The First Four Years (2005)
    Author: Christopher Green
  • 1-2-3-Magic - Effective Discipline For Children 2-12 years - 4th edition (2010)
    Author: Thomas Phelan
  • The Incredible Years - A Trouble Shooting Guide For Parents Of Children Aged 3-8 (1992)
    Author: Carolyn Webster-Stratton
  • Keys To Parenting Your Anxious Child (2015)
    Author: Katharina Manassis 

Health-care provider resources

Immunization Protocols

The TRMC has developed state-of-the-art immunization protocols for solid organ transplant patients. These protocols were developed in partnership with the Division of Infectious Diseases and are based on current immunization guidelines established by the Canadian National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care (ON MOHLTC) and experts in transplant medicine. 

The protocols are suggested immunization schedules for pre- and post-solid organ transplant patients and are meant as a guide only and may not be applicable to all patients. Please consult the transplant team for the immunization protocols. 

Please access the TRMC Immunization Guidelines via the links only, in order capture updates as they become available. We encourage practitioners not to print guidelines to avoid outdated versions in circulation. These guidelines are updated as of December 2022.

Pre-transplant immunization guidelines (PDF) 

Post-transplant immunization guidelines (PDF) 

Transition Guidelines

To provide comprehensive continuing clinical care for transition and transfer of care to adult healthcare services across all transplant programs, the TRMC has developed transition of care guidelines. Download the guidelines through the link below.

Download Guidelines for Transition from Paediatric to Adult Care (PDF)

Apply for a TRMC fellowship

The Paediatric Solid Organ Transplantation Fellowship is offered by the TRMC. It is a one-year term with the opportunity for one-year renewal.

To learn more, email us at:


A collage of photos featuring Kristina McLaren (Lloyd) as a patient at SickKids, posing for photo with Dr. Hébert and posing for a photo with her husband.

November 13, 2023

Happy 25th kidneyversary, Kristina!

A quarter-century after her kidney transplant – the first living, non-related organ donor transplant ever performed at the hospital – Kristina McLaren (Lloyd) still has a soft spot for SickKids.

March 11, 2021

SickKids program reaches milestone with 1,000 kidney transplants and counting

The Kidney Transplant Program has reached a significant milestone with its 1,000th paediatric kidney transplant performed at SickKids. Medical Director Dr. Chia Wei Teoh and Surgical Director Dr. Armando Lorenzo share their reflections on the continued medical advances of kidney transplantation over the years.

April 24, 2019

Young girl’s rapid recovery shows how far paediatric liver transplant has come

Julia Berardi, 5, received a liver transplant at SickKids to cure her rare genetic disease. Her parents and doctors are calling for organ donors during National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week.

Refer a patient to the TRMC

Do you have a patient to refer to the SickKids Transplant & Regenerative Medicine Centre?  Learn more about our referral process.

Contact us


Email the TRMC

Email the TRMC

Have a question? Get in touch with us today.

Plan your visit to SickKids

Prepare your child for their upcoming appointment or surgery by planning your visit to SickKids.

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