A new month marks the start of a new series of interviews, with patients currently on the waiting list for organ transplants.
While the whole world is wrapped up in a state of pandemic induced anxiety, these individuals have the added stress of needing an organ transplant in order to survive.
Our first interviewee is Kayl Symons, aged 23, from Pietermaritzburg.
1. When were you diagnosed with organ failure and which organ are you waiting for?
I was first told I would need a transplant in December 2018 but officially diagnosed with organ failure in August 2019. I am currently waiting for a bi -lateral lung transplant.
2. How does your current health affect your lifestyle?
My health has hugely affected my life style as I don’t leave the house much because of all the equipment (Oxygen Tank portable Oxygen Concentrator wheelchair and Oximeter) I need while out and about and honestly don’t have the energy to do much if I do leave.
3. How long have you been on the waiting list?
I was Board approved in late February 2020.
4. Have you had a transplant before? If yes, how long did it last?
This will be my first Transplant.
5. What are you most excited for after your transplant?
Being able to swim in the ocean again and to go out and enjoy life to the fullest.
6. Why do you think there is a shortage of donors in South Africa?
I think South Africans are not fully educated about transplant and due to different customs and traditions, people are expected to keep their bodies in tact for burial purposes. But I think education is key, as I have had people ask me if we have found a donor yet and can if they could be a living donor .
7. What is the biggest stigma / myth you have heard about organ donation?
That you take on the character traits of your donor .