Archives

Posts Tagged ‘altruistic kidney donation’

A small, friendly group of people, in Scotland, have come together to help promote non-directed (altruistic) kidney donation.

Colin posted this as a comment on one of my posts on this website.

Following an initial meeting in Edinburgh with Susan and Pam, we had another meeting last night with donors Chris, Kate and John, and recipient Gus, and as a result have formed an informal group to raise public awareness of altruistic kidney donation in Scotland. We are mostly based in the east, but are happy to include any Scots that wish to join us, and help expand our horizons. We have plans to make presentations to small groups/clubs such as Rotary and WI, but in time we hope to involve the press and broadcast media. The tenth anniversary in September of the change in the law may prove a useful hook for media coverage. The media being what they are, it would be useful to have a well-known personality (either donor or recipient) on our team.

Although we have no official affiliation, we will probably try to work with giveakidney.org, and will also promote your website. Incidentally, that’s a great piece about your donation on their website.

We’re just starting, and have a lot to learn, but our long term aim is to match the number of Scottish donors to the number on the waiting list – quite a challenge! We realise, incidentally, that kidneys are matched throughout the UK, not specifically in one area; it’s just a convenient way of setting a target.

We’d like your help in encouraging other Scots donors (and recipients) to join us. Everyone can help in their own way, be it in giving talks to small groups, being available for one-to-one meetings, helping with distribution of literature, or advising on promotions. We’re a very friendly group, and all of us have found it really enjoyable being able to share our experiences with each other. From there it’s a small step to sharing with others.

Take care,

Colin.

If you are interested in joining them, or want further information, please contact Colin on
haggis{at}acme-properties.co.uk
please replace the {at} with @ …… putting the email in full would attract the spammers unfortunately.

 

.

Share

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.

 

Share

Are you considering donating a kidney either to someone you know or to a stranger?

If so you need to read these pages. You can ask your hospital all the questions you want. But unless the person you are speaking to has actually donated a kidney themselves – they will not know the answers to some of the questions.

Here on Living Kidney Donation website,  you will read a full account of what it is like being a kidney donor.

From the very first appointment “kidney donor evaluation begins” right through every stage of the evaluation, including the operation itself and recovery in the hospital and then recovery at home.

Please also read any comments made on posts as they contain valuable input from other donors or potential  donors.

There are many other links on the site …. all with useful information.

If you want to ask any questions please either post in the comments section below, or if you prefer to keep any questions private, then please contact me via the contact link at the top of the page.

Donating my kidney was the best thing I have ever done. Knowing there is someone out there whose life has totally changed and they are now able to live a full life with their family – is wonderful 🙂

Share

Altruistic kidney donations:

1st April – 31st March in each year

  • 2007-8   =  6 donations
  • 2008-9   = 15 donations
  • 2009-10 = 15 donations
  • 2010-11  = 28 donation
  • 2011-12  = 34 donations
  • 2012-13  = 76 donations

Since 1st April 2013 there have been 30 altruistic donations which is fantastic news.

Share

The first altruistic kidney donation in the UK took place in 2007 and there were 3 altruistic kidney donations. Altogether up until December 2012 there have been 151 altruistic donations! That is fantastic. Well done everyone.

If you look at the picture below you will see there has been a noticeable increase in numbers each year. Will 2013 see us hitting the 200 altruistic donor mark.

(click on image to see larger version)
These are the most recent statistics and so do not appear in the
NHS organ donation annual activity report for 2011/2012

 

If you want to  see 2011 – 2012 stats for all transplant activity then please visit this link http://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/statistics/transplant_activity_report/

.

Share

Christmas time is just about upon us. The time of year when “giving” not only gives pleasure but we receive pleasure also when we give.

Have you considered giving the best present ever to someone – a kidney? Okay you won’t be able to do it in time for Christmas but you can start the giving process this Christmas/New Year by seriously considering giving one of your kidneys to a stranger – or even family or friend that you know needs one.

Look at the links on the top left of this page under “Become a Donor”. Read through them as it gives my pesonal account of my own donation. Step by step; test by test I say it as it was. It covers the operation and my recovery in hospital after and my recovery at home.  Read some of the links going across the top of the page for other information.

When I donated my kidney I didn’t think too much about how would I feel about the actual giving of the kidney. I knew I would feel happy I had been able to help someone but it went far deeper than that. I was quite surprised to feel a wonderful deep sense of contentment in my life knowing I had made such a huge difference to someone (and their family).   If I had another spare kidney I would not hesitate to give it to someone else.

I can’t think of a much greater gift to give someone than a second chance at life. You are also giving them back to their family as the family also suffers when a loved one is so ill.

Being on dialysis is not a picnic.  It does not replace the kidney. Dialysis is a form of Life Support. That is all.

With dialysis comes many problems. Not everyone takes to it BUT they have to as that is all that is available if they want to stay alive. That is – unless they get a kidney transplant!

So – we are a nation of givers. It is human nature to help people where we can. Read this website including comments people have given about their own donations or those waiting for a kidney. Look deep inside you – could you help save someone by giving them one of your kidneys.  Believe me, we do not need two. If we did then live kidney donation would not be allowed.  I don’t even know I only have one kidney. My life has not changed at all. Well actually it has. It has changed because donating my kidney has made me more aware of the vulnerabilities of our own bodies and it has made me take extra better care of  myself. I don’t have to take any medications though because of only having one kidney. Nothing in my life has changed except I watch what I eat a bit more. That is out of choice, not necessity.

Please consider giving the best gift of all.

God Bless
With Love to you all

Di
xxxx

Share

If you want to know what is involved in donating a kidney to a stranger then check out the links on the left of this page under “become a donor”. Gives you step by step description of the evaluation process, the operation recovery in hospital and recovery at home. I say it as it s and don’t gloss over anything.

If you feel you would like to donate, then please contact your local Transplant Center to discuss with them. I will help / support anyone through this. It is good to be able to chat to someone who has been through the donation process and know they understand how you are feeling.

Di Franks

 

Share

Altruistic Kidney Donation (non-directed) =  is a form of donation whereby a healthy living person is able to donate  a kidney, to someone they do not know. The donor does not have a relationship with the recipient and is not informed who the recipient will be.

Giving someone their life back and giving them back to their family by donating one of your kidneys is a most wonderful thing to do. I cannot think of a better gift to give someone than to give them a second chance at life.

If you want to know more about being a donor then please read this website. Start with the links on the left under “become a donor”. You will hear my own views on the evaluation process I went through at the Churchill Hospital, Oxford. Each stage exactly what the tests were and how I felt about them.  I take you through the operation day, my emotions and thoughts and how I felt physically afterwards. Finally my recovery both the 2 days in hospital and then when at home.

I have not glossed over anything and if there was an aspect I was not happy with, I say so. Also read other peoples comments on my posts as each person can view the donation process differently and also have different reactions during the recovery period.  At the top of this page you will find a link to “Blogs” where people have given me their story both donors and people waiting for a kidney.  The “About” page gives my thoughts on why I wanted to donate etc.

So please start reading about what it is like to be a donor by selecting from the links on the left under “Become a Donor” or start with the first one here:
http://livingkidneydonation.co.uk/altruistic-living-kidney-donor-evaluation.htm

You can also find out more about being an altruistic donor by going to these links:
1) NHSBT (NHS Blood and Transplant) non directed Altruistic donation
2) HTA (Human Tissue Authority) non directed Altruistic donation

What I d know is that given the chance I would donate a kidney again – without hesitation.

Any questions please just ask or contact me directly using the Contact form, link is top right of page.

———————————-

Di Franks

<°)))><
.“Take what you have, however little, and do your best with it.”

https://twitter.com/kidneydonation
https://www.facebook.com/LivingKidneyDonation
http://LivingKidneyDonation.co.uk

.

Share

20 Potential Altruistic Kidney Donors

In the last week or so around 20 people have approached me asking about donating their kidney to a stranger.

WOW!

That is just so fantastic. They all were quite serious in wanting to do this having read recently all the publicity surrounding altruistic donation.  Most had already done some research and were eager for more.

If just one of those 20 ended up donating that would still be one person off dialysis and going back to having a normal life and enjoying all thing things that we take for granted.

To those 20 people and to all future potential altruistic donors – Thank you so much for wanting to help someone by giving them the greatest gift you could ever give them – their life back.

Anyone wanting to know more about becoming an altruistic donor, then please check out the links running down the left side of this page, from the top. It will tell you, from the donor perspective, about the evaluation tests, operation and recovery of being an altruistic donor.

Please feel free to contact me http://livingkidneydonation.co.uk/contact.html if you wish to ask more questions or simply want some support while going through the donation process. It is sometimes just great to be able to talk to someone who has been through the same thing.

Again to those 20 people and to everyone – the world over – who has donated or looking into donating a kidney – whether to a stranger or someone they know – a big huge Thank You!!

Di Franks

Share

 “The Choice” with Michael Buerk.

This can now be listened to on BBC iplayer  BBC iplayer The Choice Di Franks

One to one chat with – Di Franks –  about my choice to altruistically donate a kidney and the consequences of that choice. Produced by Dawn Bryan this series has been aired for several years now and is hugely popular.

I hope some people will be inspired to consider donating themselves. It is truly a far greater experience than I ever imagined it would be went far beyond the donation itself – and if I could I would donate all over again.

If anyone has any questions about donation, please feel free to either comment on this post or to contact me  via the contact form, link top of page.

Di Franks

Share

A full in depth account of being a Living Kidney Donor can be found here. From my decision to donate, risks of living with one kidney to the risks of donating a kidney. My emotions along the way and why I donated. The evaluation tests involved in being a living kidney donor and what I thought of them! The frustrations and sadness and finally joy of finding a recipient for my kidney. The final pre-donation tests that gave me a sleepless night or two right up until the day before the kidney operation! Then the day of the operation to remove my kidney together with recovery after the kidney donation, in hospital as well as back home.

A lot of useful advice is also given in the comments section of the post, so they are worth reading also.

Please either scroll to the bottom of this page or use the links on the left to read about the different stages of kidney donation. The links across the top of the page also give an insight into my reasons for donating a kidney plus some useful links on the subject.

If anyone has any questions regarding the donation process or how I felt about any aspect of it, then please do post a comment or if you prefer contact me via the contact page (link at top of page).

One thing I will say is that if I could do this all over again I would without hesitation.
.

Share

Evaluation process to be a Living Kidney Donor – finding a recipient – laparascopic surgery to remove kidney – my recovery

Even though the process was not without its frustrations and last minute blips – I would not hesitate to donate a kidney all over again if I could.
For anyone considering donating a kidney, whether to a relative or friend or to a stranger, the majority of this blog would apply. I have been as honest as I can and not just put a glossy cover on it all.  The events are as they happened and my feelings and thoughts at the time. I hope this blog will enlighten some people as to the process of donating a kidney. It has been a great learning experience for myself as well. Spending so much time with people who have kidney problems and speaking to patients on dialysis or just having had a transplant, and speaking with their families ….. it has opened my eyes even more to the fact more organ donors are needed.  There was nothing in my evaluation or the operation or recovery process that put me off having donated.

Through this journey I have met people on dialysis and they are not living a life, they are surviving a life. Dialysis is life support. Without it they will die – with it they are alive but the quality of life for them and their families is not the sort of life anyone should have to live. They do for years.  Once I knew it was possible to give someone and their family back their life it was just something that, God willing,  I was determined to do.

I also want to thank everyone working at the transplant unit. Everyone was great and made this whole experience good. There was always a smile and more than that, everyone had time for me. I was never made to feel rushed. When it came time for the operation itself I was made to feel very relaxed and the after care was brilliant.

Please scroll down to read my account of being a kidney donor. The first posts are at the bottom of the blog, the latest just below this posting.

.

Share

It has been  some time since I posted re my final evaluation test, the CT Scan (October 2009). Following that I got HTA approval and I donated my kidney.  Here is an account of that and the operation and my recovery.  There is quite a lot to comment on so I will do it in separate posts. It may take a couple of days to fully post.

Independent Assessor Report and HTA (Human Tissue Authority) approval to donate my kidney.

My last and final evaluation test was the CT Scan in October 2009. That all went well and an appointment was made for me to see the Independent Assessor (IA). The IA is totally separate from the medical teams that have dealt with me, he acts as the HTA (Human Tissue Authority) representative and sends a report to the HTA for approval.
read more about the Independent Assessor Interview

Share

Following several emails asking why I have stopped the evaluation process I just want to say it didn’t stop, I just stopped posting about it back in October as it was important to keep the confidentiality of recipient and donor.  I will post again after several months have passed when I will describe the rest of the evaluation and the donation – in the meantime please scroll down to the bottom of the home page of this blog to read the evaluation process from the start.  
EDIT: I took up posting again and you will find the full account. Links on the left or go to home page and scroll to the bottom to read from the start.
There are also plenty of good (I hope) links and pages on this blog to offer information regarding kidney donation.

If anyone is considering becoming a living donor and would like any information from a donors perspective then please get in contact with me via the contact page or just post a comment and I will get back to you.

Anyone wanting to donate, either non-directed or to a known person and would like some support from someone who has donated then please contact me via the contact form.

Share

I was challenged recently to try to explain what drives me to donating to a stranger and what is in it for me. If I were paid a large sum of money, then that could be understood as to the motives behind this. But with no apparent benefit – then why do it? Very good question and not always easy to answer.

Why do people decide to sail around the world or climb the highest mountains in the most atrocious of conditions? They are hailed as Explorers and record breakers and daring and brave! Who have they benefited by doing those things? Don’t get me wrong, they are courageous and brave and have pushed the boundaries of what the body can endure to the limit and beyond and I have great admiration for them. Why then when we decide to help someone lead a better life, we are often viewed as … crazy!

Why do we do anything though? Emotions drive us either to do something or not do something. Emotions that just seem to spring from nowhere.

Sometimes the drive inside us is so strong we just can’t ignore it. I had such  a desire inside me to offer one of my kidneys to someone who needed one. That desire just grew over time. I knew it was something I really wanted to do. Having said that, I did not go into this blindly. Even though my heart kept telling me this was something I wanted to do, reality also told me to investigate this, really look into it and then decide whether heart or head wins! I found nothing to dissuade me from doing this … so my heart won.

What do I get out of donating? I do agree that whenever we give, we do also receive, whether it is a great sense of satisfaction or disappointment should something go wrong.
Read the rest of this entry »

Share

Kidney donation – altruistic

February 3rd

My first appointment at the hospital to meet the surgeon and have some initial tests done. It was during the heavy snows we had but luckily once I had got a few miles out from home, the snow thinned and travelling wasn’t a problem.

There had been some mix up with the appointments and I was in the book for 30 minutes after the time in the appointments letter. The hospital was also  running 1.5 hours late and I had arrived 30 minutes early!! No matter, it gave me time to read up on literature there and just watch and listen as to what was going on in the reception area. I was struck by the assortment of people there that had kidney problems … young, old, mothers, fathers, youngsters … it was a reminder than anyone, any age can be seriously ill and need help. I had time sitting there to think about the struggles some people have  to try and lead a normal life. It made me realise I have been very lucky in life as regards my health. Whatever I have had wrong with me has easily been treated. Not so for thousands of people. I am so glad I made this decision to donate.  Sometimes being kept waiting for an appointment has its advantages as in this case – it opened my eyes even wider.

I saw the surgeon first, very nice guy. Very friendly, smiley face and good sense of humour. I immediately felt relaxed in his company.

He made sure I knew exactly what it was I was offering to do and explained that a Doctor would be assigned to me to look after my interests.  I would go through a very thorough medical assessment.  I would also have a psychologist and psychiatric report made. The whole team needs to know that I fully understand what I will be doing. That I understand the procedure and what could go wrong etc etc.  Once I pass the medical tests and the psychiatric report, the details are then sent for approval. If I am approved as a suitable kidney donor, then I will be put on the database and once a suitable recipient is found, arrangements will be made for the transplant.  The evaluation process can be between 3 and 6 months, but they anticipate that once accepted it will be a very short time before they locate a suitable match.  

They would remove my kidney in this hospital and then safely transport it to whichever hospital the recipient is in.

The surgeon asked me about my medical history and my families. We have all been clear of major illnesses that might affect the donation.   The only down side was that I am overweight. I thought that might get mentioned!  lol ! I was weighed and although my BMI (Body Mass Index) was just within the acceptable limit, the surgeon did advise I try to lose some weight.  My current weight would not hold up the operation, but if I could lose some then that would assist the  surgery and also my recovery afterwards.

I then saw one of the transplant nurses. She asked more questions re medical history etc and then organised some  tests:

Blood pressure
Blood taken for tests (about 8 tubes used)
Heart Trace
Chest X-ray.

  It was also explained to me that during the very strict and thorough evaluation process, at any stage they could find out I am not suitable as a donor, so I also have to prepare myself for the disappointment of not being able to help someone.

My biggest worry at the moment is losing weight. I have an under active thyroid which piled the weight on a few years ago and losing it  is extremely hard – I never used to have a problem with being able to control my weight, but now it is a real battle.  

Please Pray that I pass the evaluation process with flying colours.

My next appointment is April 17th when I see the doctor … regarding what exactly not too sure, will have to wait and see.

Share
Please help keep
this site going
Please help keep
this site going