I donated a kidney to someone I did not know. All I knew was that there were thousands of people out there in need a new kidney as their health was really suffering. I had two kidneys – one of them was a spare. Why wait until I am dead, in the hope my organs would still be viable. I wanted to make sure at least one person benefited now.
It is not just the recipient who benefits from a kidney transplant. It is their whole family! What must it be like to be the spouse, parent, child, best friend etc of someone who you know, just watching them day after day ….. praying they get the life saving phone call to say there is a kidney available.
What must it be like for the person knowing they cannot have as much water as needed when thirsty – because their kidneys cannot process it. Even foods with liquid have to be monitored – fruit, vegetables etc. I am no expert on what is required to keep alive when on dialysis. I just know, having spoken to some people who are – it reduced me to tears. I said to one person “I don’t think I could live the life you live, year after year, with such limitations on what you can eat/drink. Spending three days a week travelling/hooked up to dialysis, week after week, year after year. The fact you cannot stray too far away in case that life saving phone call comes”. I felt humbled, and ashamed, when he said “you have no choice – you either want to live or you don’t”!
People ask – why should I donate when the family are not! Very simply, just because they have family, does not mean the family are a match. It is more than just being a compatible blood group. Also a lot of people needing a new kidney is because they have a hereditary illness that causes the kidneys to fail. So family members also can have this. Many reasons why someone, other than family, needs to be the donor.
A question I am sometimes asked is why does someone need a kidney when they have dialysis to replace the kidney?
I have to say I was so guilty of that assumption pre donation!! You see pictures in the media of people on dialysis, and to be honest, so often the person looks very healthy as though dialysis is the perfect solution. I still feel so guilty when I realise how wrong I was. Dialysis is a life support machine. No more, no less. It helps keep people alive until they can get a new kidney. It does NOT replace a kidney, far from it.
So if the thought ever crosses your mind about donating a kidney to someone – anyone – JUST DO IT! It will also be the most rewarding experience you could have.
Read the links on the left of this page under “Become a Donor” to find out what it is like and what the process is. Any questions, just comment on this post or send me a message via the Contact Page – link at top of this page.
I take a personal interest in anyone who wishes to donate and will stay in contact with them, and support them throughout the whole process.
My only regret about donating, is that I have no spare kidneys left to donate. If I had, I would – in a heart beat. I just pray when my time comes to meet my Maker – that my remaining organs are viable and can go to helping other people.
Please sign the organ donor register.
Please consider donating a kidney to someone during your lifetime. Don’t think your age will be against you – people in their 80’s have donated.
To all reading this who are waiting for an organ transplant, or know someone who is – stay strong! Your time will come.
6 Responses to “Have you considered donating a kidney?”
Leave a Reply
this site going
this site going