World Kidney Day: Transplant recipient's heartfelt thanks to life-changing donor
- Credit: East & North Herts NHS Trust
A Stevenage grandmother with kidney disease has paid tribute to the organ donor who has transformed her life for the better.
To mark World Kidney Day, five people - who have all been under the care of the Lister Hospital's area renal team - have reflected on how having organ transplants has provided them with an “extra special gift” - including Marcia from Stevenage.
The grandmother-of-four was diagnosed with kidney disease in the early 2000s and received a transplant in 2012.
“My donor really gave me an extra special gift,” said the 63-year-old.
“As many know, a transplant is not a cure for kidney disease and the daily medication regime can take its toll. However, the freedom a transplant gives is so worth it.
“As well as continuing to work full time, I have been able to regularly visit my family in the USA and be part of the lives of my three other grandchildren who live closer to home – all born since I had my transplant.
“I will always be grateful to my donor and their family for all of this.”
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Without a transplant, those with kidney failure often experience constant tiredness, can’t pass urine normally and have a restricted diet.
They also have to spend 16 or more hours a week having dialysis – a procedure to remove waste products and excess fluid from the blood when the kidneys stop working properly.
The solution is kidney transplants – but there remains a chronic shortage of donors, something the NHS is seeking to address in the ‘Leave Them Certain’ campaign.
The campaign launched last month and encourages everyone to make sure their relatives know of their organ donation wishes.
Others using World Kidney Day to thank their donors are Iain Lowe from St Albans, David Green from Welwyn Garden City, Tarsem Paul from Bedford and Anthony Heath from Dunstable.
All five are members of the Lister Area Kidney Patient Association, which is dedicated to improving the lives of kidney patients and their families served by Stevenage's Lister Hospital.