Transplant Stories

Gerhard van Tonder

By 2020-09-02 Sep 3rd, 2020 No Comments

Today we share 32 year old Gerhard van Tonder from Potchefstroom’s journey!

1. When were you diagnosed with organ failure and which organ are you waiting for?
I was diagnosed 3 years ago with Stage 5 kidney failure, waiting on a kidney.

2. How does your current health affect your lifestyle?
You’re constantly tired and don’t have enough energy to get through the day. Your body changes, doing 4 hours of dialysis 3 days a week can sometimes get to you, you don’t see your friends and family that often.

3. How long have you been on the waiting list?
I have been on the list for a year, then we decided that myself and my mother should test to see if we are a match. The test came back we were not compatible, that’s when my Dad stepped in and said he also would like to be tested. A few days later the transplant co-ordinator gave me a call with the good news that my dad was a match and the rest of the work-up testing could be done. We immediately started making appointments for the tests to be done. We only have 1 test left to do then we went into a national lock down and everything was put on hold.

4. What are you most excited for after your transplant?
To live normally, having energy to do things I have done before my kidney failure. Spending more time with friends and family and of course playing more golf.

5. Why do you think there is a shortage of donors in South Africa?
There is a huge lack of education and awareness on organ transplants in South Africa. People are scared to take a step to register as a donor.

6. What is the biggest stigma / myth you have heard about organ donation?
There is this idea that your organs cannot be directed to a loved one and is taken for the top listed candidate on the donation list.