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Some of you may remember Michael who has previously posted comments on this blog. Here is his story about his kidney donation. I know this isn’t his blog but he hasn’t got one, so this is the next best thing!

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Part 1

What makes a person want to donate a kidney and particularly to make a non-directive donation. I knew there would be psychiatric test and I would have to justify my decision so I explained it this way – if you were passing a river and someone had fallen in you’d jump in to save them even if you could barely swim – it’s not so much that it would be the right thing to do indeed it would probably be foolish much better to call for help. However there is a more selfish motive – could you live with yourself if you didn’t make the attempt? The same could be said of the idea of donating a kidney – I would have found it much more worthy if I had chosen to give up my time to helping down and outs for instance – that’s why I can truthfully say it wasn’t a big deal; the real work was done by the drs and nurses and friends and family who supported me.

I have often said that giving to charity wasn’t morally worth while unless it “hurt” by that I mean we all contribute regularly to charities but not to the extent it would impinge on our lives – giving up a holiday for instance.

So that’s why I say this hasn’t been any effort on my part.

When I was in Hospital I saw people coming in hoping for an organ transplant – they had received “the call” perhaps this time there would be a match. Seeing this was very humbling, even thinking of it now my eyes are filling – how little we think of good health until we lose it.

I’ve mentioned before that none of the pre op test nor the hospital stay itself involved any more discomfort that giving blood.

Here there is a caveat I had my operation by keyhole which I understand is considerably less invasive than the “regular” method.

So how do I feel after nearly a month?

Mine isn’t a typical case as I contracted double pneumonia a matter of hours after the operation. I should say that at one point I really thought I wouldn’t make the morning and sent for my family. I seem to remember in this very sick state someone saying “ I think he’s given up” whether this happened or was due to delusion it served to pull me together and start fighting at least mentally.

I went into hospital with sciatica which had come on the previous month and I also had a problem with my right shoulder, neither was serious but they did impact on my recovery. Todate I’ve not walked any distance due to the sciatica however I’v a dr appointment to see about my “creaky” the residue of the pneumonia so I’ll try walking then.

Apart from that how am I? I’m fine though still find having a bath and dressing tires me but generally moving about the house I’m fine – looking forward to cycling again : -)

At least with all these aches and pains I feel I’ve made an effort and done something morally worth while.

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The complication of double pneumonia that Michael got is very rare and the belief is that there would have to have been an underlying reason for this to happen.

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28th April 2010

Part 2

How quick a recovery did I have:
 I had the op and although unfortunately contracted pneumonia.   I made the first tentative moves on my c2 rowing machine a few weeks later and just over a month later was rowing 10,000 metres – so you can say complete recovery in a month.  I am now on tablets for high blood pressure but it was slightly high before the op and it’s a common condition.

Would I do it again:
yes no doubt about that.

What advice would I give?
Be certain in you own mind you accept the risks!
Though the chance of death is slight it is there 1 in 3000 is quoted.

The above will not be such a consideration if you are giving to a specific person but if you are thinking of making a non-directive (altruistic) donation then that emotional factor isn’t there.

I was 60 at the time and by good fortune had been able to retire so there wasn’t the concern of getting back to work and I have no dependents to be provided for. I also had friends and relatives available to help out if required – it wasn’t.

Practical things – have you been in hospital recently? –If not ask to be shown round where you’ll be staying – get an idea of the layout.

Ask if you can use radio with headset or take in an ipod or similar. I was able to plug in my laptop and keep in touch by e-mail. The obvious is to take some books in but you’ll probably be out so quickly you won’t have time for more than a couple.

So I’m back to working on my various researches – family tree –one day I’ll write it up – oh which reminds me when contemplating the operation I decided that I must write up the family history because if the worst happened it would be lost  – did I – no –let that be a lesson to you all!

Now back to my work for the bi-centennial of the war of 1812 – never heard of it shame on you.

Best wishes to you all,
Michael

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31 Responses to “Michael”

  • Jen:

    Well done Michael! I have had my initial assessment and chat with the surgeon. He is prepared to consider diving inside to acquire a kidney despite previous surgical complications!!! Mind you, he probably has a slightly ulterior motive in wanting a kidney!!?? Good thing I will have an independent doctor too, looking after my interests, just in case it might not be a good plan to delve back into my innards! I have been told after only 48 hours that my initial blood tests were all fine, but a long way to go for me yet! I can’t believe you were back rowing so quickly after post-op complications too. Well done!! All the best. Jenny

  • Lea Hanan:

    Michael,
    Congratulations to you! I hope that you continue toward a complete recovery. I am donating my kidney to my father June 28th. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

  • Diane:

    Lea,
    What an exciting time for you both. Won’t be long now before your father will get his life back and you can all start doing things that have been out of reach. Wonderful! I bet the 28th can’t come quick enough.
    Di

  • Thanks Jen and Lea – sorry for being so slow in reply – been busy indexing – it’s like typing out a telephone directory! –Yes I am an anorak ?

    Jen – I’m sure they won’t go ahead if there is the slightest risk to you – but consider the position very carefully – I was lucky that I was so fit and the nursing of such a high standard that they caught the pneumonia in time.

    Lea – that’s wonderful and you’ll be able to see what a difference it will make to him and both share in the joy of his recovery – best wishes
    ~ ~ ~
    I can assure you both that I’m exactly as fit as I was before the operation – I’ve felt no difference and that will be a year in October – I’m so fit that on the last check up they didn’t want to see me for 4 months and this week I was allowed to give blood again.

    In January I had a note from the person who received the kidney –all anonymous of course, saying what a difference it had made to both him and his family and that, with what I’d seen in hospital, made me see how little indeed no effort on my part can make a difference.

    Now to end on a lighter note – for my “fans” there is a clip of me on the Antiques Roadshow from August 2008
    http://www.dun.org.uk/Editor.htm bottom of the page

    Now back to watering the garden…..

  • Clive:

    Michael,
    Lucky you being on the Antiques Roadshow. I once queued for hours and in the end had to give up the wait due to other committments (had to pick up the wife from mother-in-law – and you cannot be late for that!).

    I am curious as to your double pneumonia. Was that directly due to the anaesthetic/operation? I understand that with any operation that involves anaesthetic chest infections can occur.

    Even though that happened to you you say you would still donate again if you could. I admire you for that. I am not sure what makes a person want to donate except they must be special indeed. I applaud you.

    Clive

  • I’m so vain Clive that I made sure that I joined the queue some three hours before the doors opened – I would certainly recommend the experience. However be sure the item you take will be of interest – I was lucky as I had intended to take an inscribed pocket watch and only at the last minute did my uncle suggest his picture.
    I was convinced the watch was interesting as it had a numbered key for winding, suggesting to me that it was perhaps marking it as a “limited edition” I was soon disabused when the expert being asked about the numbered key he proceeded to empty a bag of keys all numbered –it only indicated the key size!

    I didn’t know that there was a link between the anesthetic/operation and chest infections –certainly the hospital were shocked and couldn’t understand how previous tests hadn’t picked it up –but I really can’t remember as I seem to have jumbled days up according to my sister. The only really unpleasant circumstance was the psychosis induced by the drugs –where I was convinced they were trying to kill me to the extent I pulled out all my drips -that was really unpleasant and lasted until my sister came in the next day I think and showed me a printout from the net describing the condition then it vanished as if a light had gone on. Even that had a plus side as I was so convinced I was going to die I think I know how I would react if given such news which in a way is reassuring as I always suspected I’d go in to a frozen panic.

    However I don’t want to make it sound more harrowing than it was, mine was an isolated case and the actual operation was, and I know people just don’t believe this, painless even the point where they were draining my chest which I thought –now you are going to get it! Was again painless and I’m a wimp when it comes to pain.

    Why would I do it again – if you saw the people coming in hoping this time they would receive a transplant you’d understand why I wouldn’t hesitate.

    It’s just a month short of a year and I feel no different if anything it has given me the spur to do jobs I’’ve long put off – I think I’ve done more since the operation than I’ve ever done.
    see http://www.1812privateers.org/

  • Clive:

    With General Anaesthetic because a tube is passed into your lungs via your throat any infection that may be in the throat can also pass down into the lungs. If there is already an infection in the lungs it can be made worse. The infection may be so small as not to be noticed but will be aggaravated by the GA.

    That looks to be a very fascinating website you are doing. Do you get many visitors? A lot of research has gone into that so I can see how it keeps you busy.

    Clive

  • Interesting that makes particular sense in my case – I know they carried out tests after I’d recovered to ensure that if I had to have GA again they would be prepared.
    Last month there were 599 unique visitors – the traffic will build as 1812 approaches –there is much on there that will be of interest to UK genealogists as well, particularly ADM 26 – but enough of that and out with the hoover….

  • Trisha:

    Well done Michael what a wonderful gift to give someone else.
    Lea I hope your donation went well.

    I am posting just to warn donors. Do you stil have children at home? Even if they are old enough to make decisions? If you do and you are thinking of donating to a stranger then think again. Who do you love most? The stranger? Or your children? I say this because death is not the only risk you take, albeit a small one. You risk blood clots, complications like Michael had, nerve damage that can last for years. Your spleen can get nicked during the operation. There are many things that can go wrong during the operation which surgeons do not tell you during the evaluation process. A bit of research will show you the number of people who have suffered after donating in the UK. Maybe they are not common but they do and have happened frequently. Is it worth taking those risks for a stranger if it means either leaving your children without a mother/father or with a parent that is suffering and in pain or suffering in some other way for months or years?

    Why put them through that? Are your egos so big that doing this for a stranger is far more important than the feelings of your children? There is time enough when they have left home to donate a kidney why do it when they still depend on you and are living at home?

    What is SO important that a stranger comes first above your dependants?

    Do not say “the risks are small”. That is a cop out. Many donors have problems after the donation. Some serious ones others not so serious but long term and debilitating. Also what if you are the 1 in 3000? Do not think your children will think you died a hero, they will not. They could hate you for putting a stranger first above your love and responsibility for them. Even if they agree with what you are doing and are proud of you now, they do not know the full risks or the potential damage that can be done to you. Why not be honest with them and reserach all the things that can go wrong then present your children with them? Will they be so supporting knowing you are more than likely going to walk away with some damage afterwards. Would they really understand.

    Michael as he so rightly put it in another comment on this blog, was ideally placed as having no dependants, being very very healthy and retired so all the time in the world.

    My sister donated her kidney to a stranger and she ended up with bad nerve damage so each time she bends even slightly she screams out in pain. Meds help to a certain extent. She has had to leave her job she can no longer fully look after her family. Cannot drive them to school or do their washing or even cook meals properly. They are now looking after her!! And believe me at times they have said they hate her for not loving them enough to put them first above a stranger. She donated 10 months ago. She was never told by anyone of the sort of damage that has been caused to donors in the past. Only the stock answers of “small risk”.

    So those donors who have dependants – who do you love most? Your ego? The stranger? or your family? Nothing stopping you donating once they have left home so why do it now?

    Think hard about what you are doing and who you love most in this world.

    Family must ALWAYS come first. Question yourself why you are doing this when you have dependants still at home?

    What is so important to do it NOW and not later when they have left home? Do not say the evaluation is nearly over so no going back now. Another cop out answer.

    I hope this makes some people think before they donate to a stranger. It will only be luck that something does not go wrong in the operation regardless of how good the surgeons are. Since my sister I have come across so many people who were not told about the true extent of damage that can be done when donating and have gone on to suffer pain, bowel problems, infections and other complications that have lasted months.

    Is it really worth putting a stranger before your children? When you can help someone later when children have left home?

    Why do it now? Why risk your childrens happiness and wellbeing by donating now? Why is a stranger far more important than your own family?
    My sister regrets the day she donated and wishes she had waited until her children had left home. One was 18 years old the other 14 years old. They still depended on her for many things. Now they have a mother who is constantly in pain and they wonder why she did it. Why she did not love them enough to wait until they had left home.

    Sincerely
    Trisha

  • Those are wise words Trisha.

    As you pointed out I was in what I consider the only justifiable position – no dependents, healthy and retired.

    My reason was solely to put something back – I’ve had a very fortunate life.

    However I don’t remember having the sort of risks you described spelled out to me or perhaps I only thought of the 1 in 3000.

    Risks are personal and that one I was prepared to take – if it went wrong I’d be dead.

    However if I’d been faced with the dreadful prospect of what your sister suffers or indeed any ongoing pain, here I confess I’m a wimp and something of a hypochondriac, I wouldn’t have gone through with it or only if it was for a known person.

    I’m trying to think back and I’m sure I didn’t have those sort of problems pointed out to me or if so not in detail.

    I mentioned to Di that it might be useful to collate these problems – even if they are rare potential donors should be made very aware of them.

    It’s now nearly 18 months since my op and I feel fine though there is a problem with high blood pressure and that seemingly affects the performance of the kidney – off for a check tomorrow.

    If interesting problems develop I’ll keep the blog informed.

  • Diane:

    Hi Trisha
    Thank for posting. I have to admit it was only after donating that I came across quite a few people who had complications after the surgery, some only minor and an inconvenience but with others quite a major upheaval to their lives for quite some time. I have tried to advice potential donors of this if contacted direct. But as Michael says, we have discussed me making a list of them and at some point I will and post on the blog. Not to put people off but to just inform them so they can ask their Transplant team about them and then make a more informed decision.

    My situation was similar to Michaels in that I had no dependants, out of work (though not retired) and felt I wanted to give back something and that the time was now right. I do have a son who lives locally and is 30 years old and consulted him once it looked like the donation might be possible. At one stage he was not happy with the idea but after research decided he was very much behind me. However I will say had he had doubts and was not fully behind me I would not have gone ahead with the donation, I did not feel I had the right to risk a potentially major life change in both our lives on my wishes only. He was still my family even if not living at home.

    Had I found out about the various things that could go wrong after the operation that I have now found out, it is hard for me to say whether I would have gone ahead or not to be honest. I do think though I would have asked the transplant team about them and really questioned why they could have happened and asked for stats on complications reported after donation and then made a decision.

    I did have some digestive problems after donation that lasted a few months, accompanied by some pain in the digestive system that came and went. That does now all seem to have cleared up.

    Would I do it again if I could? Yes I would, but I would have more questions to ask first and only if satisfied with the answers would I proceed.

    Would I have done it if I had dependants/children at home? No I would not have. I would have waited until family were grown up and left and then donated with their support.

    Of course donating to family member is totally different and I would be prepared to take more chances if donating to a close family member.

    Don’t let any of this put anyone off, but questions do need to be asked of the transplant team. Research on internet as to problems people have had since donating. As for family …. that is left to each persons own decision, but it needs serious thought as Trisha said as to when is the best time to donate to a stranger.

    Let us know how your BP goes Michael ….

    Di

  • Carolyn:

    I also agree with Trisha. Family should come first and donating a kidney to stranger can wait until family are grown and independant. Nothing more important than family. What if you died or ended up permanently disabled.

    It is a wonderful thing to do but seems a selfish choice to me when people can donate once family left the nest no matter how much your heart and soul wants to help a stranger it can wait.

    I would donate to close family, husband, daughter, but not to stranger while my daughter is still at home.

    Just my thoughts on subject. Noone more important in my life than my beautiful 17 year old daughter. She is my life and soul and the very reason I smile when I wake in the mornings. I have read about complications that can happen when donating, some really awful ones and seems people are not told about them beforehand. My brother is donating to his adopted son in two weeks time and I have been supporting him so have been part of the researching.

    Well done to Michael for a wonderful gift to someone. I do hope your blood pressure sorts itself.

    Carolyn
    Bristol

  • Michael:

    I completely agree. I’m concerned about the number of people who consider donating whilst still having dependants.

    My BP seems to have improved – I’ve even managed to lose weight .no more bridies : -(

    Give your brother my best wishes – from one who was also adopted!

    I really feel no different from before the operation –perhaps even fitter.

    This from a wimp and hypochondriac.

  • Jennifer Tully from Ohio:

    That is a great thing to do Michael and I am glad it was a success.

    I am in the USA and my cousin donated to a stranger two years ago. She had complications afterwards. The incision got infected quite badly from the inside so was not straight away noticed until she had a soaring temperature. She was readmitted into hospital. A few days after that she had crippling pains in her abdomen it took around 5 months before she was fit enough to go back to an office job. She had three children. Two in their teens and one 12 years old. She did regret donating afterwards as the pain and distress it caused her family with the complications she wished she had never put them through. Her husband also was very distressed and her family all had visions of life without her or a very restricted life. It seems sensible to me to wait until children have left home. My cousin did say she felt so strongly in her heart she wanted to do this but afterwards realized that the desire to do it would still be there after her children had left home and she wished so much she had waited and not put her selfish desires and the stranger before her family. The pain it caused them still fills her with guilt.

    Personally I do not think I could donate to anyone, not even family as childhood bad experience in a hospital makes me dread the thought of even visiting someone in one let alone having an unnecessary operation. So I admire very much those who do.

  • Michael:

    Thank you Jennifer – it’s a coincidence that you are in the US as at this very moment I’m working on American privateers in the War of 1812.

    But to serious matter – I completely agree with you – it really is only those who don’t have dependants who should consider this – the caveat being if it’s for a family member or close friend.

    There seems to be a consensus forming on this point – I do think it’s important that these problems should be recorded – it might not be the most scientific approach but if it could be said that out of x number of donations a number of cases of problems were reported it would give at least an indication of the risk.

    As I mentioned previously I’m a bit of a hypochondriac, much to the shame of my sister, a former nurse : -)

    So I realise how fortunate I’ve been with no apparent problems since my op – indeed I’ve been increasing my exercise to get my weight down – walking or cycling for at least an hour plus at least 30mins on a rowing machine and this I’m managing most days – so reasonably fit.

    As for fear of hospitals – I was the same I didn’t like visiting – though the only experience of being in hospital previously is when as a 8 or 9 year old my mother ran me over with a lawnmower – yes that’s true I was 6monts in plaster – but it made a great story.

    Now of course that has been completely cured and I feel comfortable in them: I suppose it was my stay in Edinburgh was so successful.

    Please pass on my best wishes to your cousin – she shouldn’t feel guilty rather try an look at it in the way of her jumping into a river to save someone drowning – she wouldn’t stop and think of the risk or dependants you just do it.

  • Diane:

    Michael,
    You were run over with a lawnmower? Why when I read that did I laugh! I do believe humans have this sadistic side to them somewhere, lol …. but it does conjur up a comic scenario. But 6 months in plaster, oh my, now that is not a laughing matter.

  • Caroline from Australia:

    Michael, your experience sounds horrific. Thank goodness you were okay afterwards. My brother needs a kidney. He is not in a huge urgent need of one. He will need dialysis soon but has been told within the next 5 – 8 years he will need a transplant. I went to be assessed and intitially was going to be a good match, well I still am. We have decided though to wait until my son has finished college and leaves home and becomes independant of me which will be in around 3 years. If my brother gets worse before then I will donate. He is worried that should something go wrong I still have a family at home. I did feel relieved when we decided that as it was having family at home that made me more scared than anything. We are all happy with waiting a few years before me donating to my brother. Who knows another kidney may come along before then also.

    Bless you all
    Carly

  • Thank you Caroline,
    It probably sounds more horrific than it was, if you take out the pneumonia then the whole procedure was a doddle. I’ve haven’t so far, suffered any adverse affects, indeed the need to lower my blood pressure, this has now stabilised, has proved most beneficial I’ve managed to lose nearly 14lbs.
    I’ve a rowing machine and daily do around 30mins often more and cycle regularly so it hasn’t diminished my fitness indeed if anything it has encouraged me to do more. The weight coming off has me thinking of taking up running..ok lets be honest jogging again.
    I think you are both wise in waiting until your son is independent or until the operation is urgent. The last thing your brother would want is to make problems for you.
    Whether I’m an average case I don’t know – there are other stories of people having problems after donating – this should be weighed up before going forward – more so in the case of a donation to an anonymous person.
    The thought of being in the fortunate position of having the chance of making someone’s life significantly better is both humbling and rewarding. I used to make a joke of saying after doing something “ …then my life hasn’t entirely been wasted” after the op it is a comfort to know that in this case at least it’s true.
    It’s probably a coincidence but since the op I’ve found a sister and family I didn’t know about, I was worried that I would find my “new “ sister needed a kidney, fortunately not – so even at 61 life can still throw up surprises.

  • Diane:

    Caroline?
    Are you the Caroline that emailed me a few weeks ago? Your story sounds like you are, I tried getting back to you but the email kept bouncing back. If you have a different email we can use then I can get back to you answering your questions. If you are not the Caroline in question, then apologies for what must sound like a confusing conversation, lol!!
    Di

  • Caroline from Australia:

    Hello Di,
    Yes it is me. I thought you did not want to respond so I did not chase it up. I do have a different email so will get it to you via the contact page and will look for your reply. I would appreciate speaking with you. You came highly recomended from a friend in the UK who you are supporting now through their donation process.

    The Very Best
    Caroline from Australia

  • I had 18 month check yesterday and whilst my blood pressure has stabilised and my weight down to a shade over 12stone/168lbs I was brought short to be reminded that my kidney wasn’t functioning as well as hoped.
    It’s normal for the remaining kidney to “up” its work load after the op this didn’t occur with me. However provided it doesn’t deteriorate I should be fine.
    Now back to the garden….

  • Diane:

    Hi Michael,
    Sorry to hear kidney not as should be but as you say, fingers crossed. When do you get another checkup??

    Di

  • James:

    How fascinating.
    It sounds like hospitals do all they can before an operation to make it a success. It also shows that there can be the unexpected. Only too true one must look at all the risks and be prepared for something going wrong before taking decision to donate. I am donating to my brother next week. He is my twin brother and we are as close a match as you can get for a transplant. It was a no brainer for me to donate to him. We are very close. We did put off this donation for three years as I had a daughter at home finishing college. She is now married and has a husband to care for her. So now is the time for my brother to come first. A hard decision to make as we had to make sure my brother stayed well enough for the transplant to be postponed a few years. Was hard on him but my daughter came first. Had his health deteriorated and it became a matter of urgency for him to have a kidney, if all other avenues failed then I would have donated.

    Well done everyone who has donated or is about to. Exciting and scary time.
    Jimmy

  • Well done Jimmy – If you are concerned about fitness after the op – I’ll complete 5 million meters on my C2 rowing machine in the next two days and 3 million of that was completed in the 18 months after the op, latterly I’ve been spending an hour a day on it.
    I only started to realise how restricted the life is on dialysis when I was in hospital – it’s only when you take to those who are suffering that life style you can see how much the chance of a normal life is appreciated.
    Don’t be concerned by my experience – the operation it self was as painless as giving blood. I found the whole hospital experience in a curious way enjoyable –it was certainly interesting.
    I wish you both the very best – let us know how you and your brother ptrrogress.

  • Jennifer:

    I am about to donate to my sister in few weeks. I have read some blogs on people’s recovery and it does vary. Yours, Michael seems to be a one off rather than it is a common problem you had. Glad you hear you recovered and sounds like you are fighting fit. I am aware there can be complications and it has no bearing if you are really fit or not before the donation. In all the donation stories I have read though the complication ones are few and far between. I just Pray I am not one of those. Even if I am though, it will have been worth it to see my sister smile again and to be able to hold her hand and go running along the beach together. Something we have not done in years.

    Thank you for writing your account and for all the comments here I have read. It is better to know about complications than to think everything will go smoothly with the recovery.

    God Bless
    Jennifer

  • Jennifer please don’t have any fear – my case was unusual in that there was a problem with pneumonia. I’m convinced it had been lying latent for years as the result of a previous problem.
    I’ve just passed the 2 year mark last week and feel fitter than ever – I’ve even managed to get my weight under control, it was slowly creeping up after retirement. I daily spend an hour on the rowing machine and cycle a couple of times a week.
    I can only speak from my experience – but you do feel mentally better – you can say to yourself what ever mistakes I’ve made this is something which can only be for the good.
    This is the very best you can do for your sister – both of you should treat yourselves to new running shoes, you are going to need them.

  • Amanda:

    Hi, how interesting to read other kidney donors stories, I donated to my brother 8yrs ago had no major problems until I went home. Started to suffer with excruciating back pain, I was told , many tests, scans etc later that I facet joints in my back that have snaped and resulting in disc bulges were caused during the operation. I eventually had to give up my job working with children as a single mother of 2 children I just couldnt cope phsically any longer. I had to rely on benefits to survive, life on benefits is a very rollercoaster experience. Just wish there was more after support for live donors when things go wrong..

  • Diane:

    Hi Amanda,
    That is not a good story to read. Must have been an awful time for you. Does not help you much now, I know, but I believe support nowadays is much better, though I do still hear accounts of where donors have a problem after donating, that the medical people cannot seem to find an answer to.

    Seems unreal that they can do nothing for your back. You hear of so many amazing surgeries that are done to people …

    So sorry you had to suffer. How are you now?
    All the best
    Di
    x

  • I’m so sorry to hear that your operation resulted in such a problem. I would have hoped that the medical staff at the hospital which carried out the operation would have gone to any lengths to help you – if not able to find an immediate cure that they would continue to followup you case.
    I had my op in 2009 and so far the only minor issue is the need to take tablets for blood pressure control.
    Best wishes,

  • Janey:

    Hi Michael,

    I really enjoyed reading your story as I feel I can relate to one of your reasons for donating – it’s more meaningful if it actually takes something away from us. And I mean more than some old clothes or an afternoon of time. I’m hopefully starting workup soon for altruistic donation. So watch this website for more news I hope! I try to live my life and be giving back to the community as much as I can. I can’t donate blood or plasma etc as I have pathetically small veins – they’re good enough for taking blood samples, but I was told at the red cross donation centre they were too small to take the large amount needed for donation. The nurse was worried my veins would blow, and I have watched that happen a hundred or so times and didn’t want it anymore than she did.

    I’m curious about the pneumonia but it is hard to track where infections came from… I don’t know if it can “lie latent” as you thought but I’m not a doctor so I’m not sure. Perhaps an earlier issue with your respiratory system left you slightly more likely to develop an issue with a GA, as someone else said there is an increased risk of introducing infectious material when they put in the ET tube as you go to sleep.

    Thanks for sharing Michael. Hope the war histories are going well 🙂

  • Hi Janey,

    I’ll certainly be interested in how you progress. I’m curious about the vein issue, not heard of that before.
    If any are wondering you can certainly give blood after the op.

    Yes my theory about the pneumonia is just than and not based on anything other than that I developed the “rare” yellow nail syndrome after a particularly bad attack of flu many years ago and I think it might have been the residue from that – but as a self confessed hypochondriac – I wouldn’t set any store by my opinion : -)

    Best wishes and do let me know how you progress.

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