We have a story about a strangers’ heart that saved a man’s’ life. Selva Kisten from Verulam is featured in today’s #TransplantTuesday post.
1. Which organ/tissue did you receive, and in what year?
I received a heart transplant in 2016.
2. How long were you on the waiting list for your organ?
Two and a half years.
3. What was life like before the transplant? How did you spend your days?
I underwent a triple bypass in 2004 as my heart muscle had been damaged and subsequently had four pacemakers inserted in the course of 9 years. I was told to be very careful not to strain myself. In November 2013, my cardiologist told me that the muscles of my heart were severely damaged and, I was going into end stage cardiac failure. I had to be placed on the transplant waiting list; I was tired both physically and emotionally.
4. Describe the emotions experienced when you were told that you and your donor matches and the transplant can take place?
I was shocked and scared. Thinking what will happen to my family.
5. What is life like now, after the transplant?
After spending 19 days in hospital, I recovered at home and had to adjust to the new way of life. Friends and family had to understand that I had to prioritise my health; there were lots of things to adjust to in terms of medication, visitors and my care. Today I feel full of energy and I can play with my grandchildren.
6. What advice would you give patients on the waiting list?
There is nothing to fear about, we have the best surgeons and after care.
7. Why do you think there is a shortage of donors in South Africa?
Not enough awareness.
8. If you could describe transplant in one word, what would it be?