We interviewed Jordan, a 25 year old from Bloemfontein about his kidney transplant.
1. Which organ/tissue did you receive, and in what year?
Kidney- February 2018
2. How long were you on the waiting list for your organ?
Four and a half years.
3. What was life like before the transplant? How did you spend your days?
I was still a student at varsity so I was still trying to get my degree which I have now completed after having received my transplant. On every second day I had to go dialysis for 4 hours. I used to sleep a lot and just try to recover from dialysis, I also had problems with my haemoglobin so my energy levels were always low and I struggled with liquid build up in my face and ankles as my kidneys weren’t functioning and was supposed to only drink 500ml of liquid per day!
4. Describe the emotions experienced when you received “The Call” for your transplant?
I was nervous but excited, you never really know what to expect. It was a strange feeling thinking I was finally going to get a kidney, when you on the waiting list you never think the day will arrive that you finally get the call.
5. What is life like now, after the transplant?
Life is amazing post transplant there is hope and possibilities and you can set out to accomplish everything you wanted before you got sick, however there is a great responsibility to take extreme care of your new organ and the transplant process has been far from easy but it has been well worth it and it has been an amazing journey. For instance I can now go away for longer than a weekend without having to book dialysis or having to watch fluid restrictions which was limited to 500ml per day!
6. What advice would you give patients on the waiting list?
My advice would be to always keep yourself as healthy as possible so that when you get the call you will always remain a suitable candidate. Never give up hope the call will come when you least expect it!
7. Why do you think there is a shortage of donors in South Africa?
People are not educated enough about organ donation; I think it’s a very sensitive subject for a lot of people, so it is never brought up in conversation and therefore people are not exposed to it. For me it comes down to the fact that only a very small portion of the population are in need of organs, so if it does not affect family or loved ones then its not something I feel is ever brought up for discussion.
8. If you could describe transplant in one word, what would it be?
Life Changing- (sorry that’s 2 words)