Today we feature Khanyisile Onikwa Ngqazo from the Eastern Cape!
1. Which organ/tissue did you receive, and in what year?
In November 2018 I experienced acute liver failure. I needed a new liver. It was failing so fast I needed a donor immediately. I did not have time to wait. It was a matter of life and death. A few days later, the doctors estimated that I had about 10 hours left.
2. How long were you on the waiting list for your organ?
I was on the waiting list only for a few days, since my liver was failing rapidly.
3. What was life like before the transplant? How did you spend your days?
I spent a lot of time on campus. I’d even stay longer loitering around campus with my friends. I was a social butterfly. I love social gatherings. My weekends I’d spend around friends. I was very committed in church activities with the youth organisations. I did a lot of travelling with the church youth, attending seminars.
4. Describe the emotions experienced when you received “The Call” for your transplant?
I never had the experience of receiving the call, but my parents did on my behalf. I was already in ICU and my life was dependant on machines that kept me alive at that moment.
5. What is life like now, after the transplant?
After my transplant I had a couple of things that I was excited about the first one was going back home to my family. After being unconscious for so many weeks in hospital, I just wanted to see my mom and dad. I wanted to be around my siblings. My second one was to live and by that I mean go after my goals and dreams. I wanted to do everything that I have been hoping to do but place it on hold thinking that I’ll do that another day, month, year.
6. What advice would you give patients on the waiting list?
Just keep on believing and keep up that faith, it keeps you going.
7. Why do you think there is a shortage of donors in South Africa?
I think people are not being educated enough about organ donation. People are not aware that you can save a life with organ donation. Things such as religion and culture also play a role when it comes to educating people with organ donation. People do not want to go against what they believe in. If only more people can help to spread awareness by talking to their family members about their wish to donate organ when they pass away. It would have an impact no matter how small but it still counts.
8. If you could describe transplant in one word, what would it be?