I received a kidney transplant April 24, 2019
The terrific readers who regularly read my post already know I received a miracle this year on April 24, in the form of kidney transplant from a living donor. My living donor was only available to me because a personal friend of mine agreed to donate a kidney if someone else who was a match for me donated to me. It’s called a shared donor program and I believe half of kidney transplants in British Columbia are living donors and most are shared donor exchanges similar to mine.
Mine was actually a type called a Closed Chain.
A closed chain, is similar to a paired exchange, except there are more pairs included and the donor of the last pair donates to the transplant candidate of the first pair.
There is so much to tell about why my finding a donor was a miracle, but I want to inform you what a difference that gift has made to me and my family and friends.
In the last decade my health seeped away slowly as my previous transplant waned, and eventually was rejected and stopped working. That kidney transplant was an amazing gift also in July 1987 from a deceased donor. We are so grateful to have had that transplant for 31 years !
When your health diminishes at a slow rate, you keep functioning and working harder to do your job, enjoy your off time, support your family and be normal. Like a tree in a forest, you can be too close to see the changes but others do as they are more objective.
2018 I started dialysis of my blood 3 times a week
In 2018 in the autumn, due to end stage kidney failure I accepted I could go on no longer without succumbing to dialysis (cleaning of my blood via a machine) three times a week, about 4.5 hours each visit. Afterwards I felt better than before, but I had a very restricted diet, and nearly no fluids from food or orally in between to make the process possible. No fluids hardly is because kidney failure means no urine and fluids have to pulled out in the dialysis process and only so much can be withdrawn in four hours via your blood during hemodialysis. Not a picnic, but it’s not meant to be, it’s meant to keep you alive.
People are dying on dialysis daily as they wait
Statistics are different due to population differences between Canada and the USA however matchingdonors.com states that daily 22 people die in the USA waiting for a kidney transplant, most waiting 7 – 9 years.
The statistic would be similar for waiting times in Canada but fewer people daily, according to kidney.ca;
There are over 4,500 people waiting for an organ donation in Canada. Sadly, about 260 of those people waiting for a transplant will die every year, that’s about five deaths per week, or one death about every 30 hours that could be saved if they had a viable donor.
My transplant gives me so much
I apologize for this longer post, suffice to say my life has changed – it has been given back.
- I have more clarity of thought,
- I have better health,
- I have more time away from hospitals and doctors,
- I have the opportunity now to travel,
- I expect a longer life expectancy (remember people waiting on dialysis often succumb after 8 years, some even finding life too difficult and choosing to go off dialysis and basically dying in 7 to 14 days in hospice).
I have my life back, thanks to doctors, nurses, surgeons, all able to be set in motion because my friend agreed to be a living donor.
It’s a process, and many are willing but are unable to do so but if you want to learn more, go to Considering Living Kidney Donation.