Linda Boshoff from Waverley donated her kidney to her son when he was only 10 years old.
1. Which organ did you donate, and in what year?
I’ve donated my kidney to my son, Jacques in November 2012.
2. How long were your recipient on the waiting list for an organ?
Jacques was not on a waiting list for the organ transplant as I was tested immediately after we heard the news that Jacques will need a transplant, and luckily my kidney was a perfect match for him. Since I started with the tests it was about 8 months until the transplant.
3. What made you decide to donate?
It was really easy for me to decide as it was my child’s life that was at stake. I think most parents that know they have a chance to save their child’s life, would not even think twice.
4. Describe the emotions experienced when you were told that you are a suitable donor?
I was very thankful and delighted, but also a bit scared of the unknown, but with all the love and support of the rest of our family, it became a lot easier.
5. What is life like now, after donating a kidney?
Life after donating a kidney is wonderful! Physically there is no difference in my abilities and my health is still very good. I try to keep up a healthy lifestyle as I know that I now need to look after my remaining kidney. I also know that I must never take anything for granted.
Emotionally I am a stronger person and I know that whatever obstacles life could bring, there is always a positive side if you put your trust in the Lord.
6. What advice would you give people considering being a living donor?
Don’t even think twice about being a living donor as it is most rewarding to see the other person’s health can completely turn around and that he or she could have a second chance in life. For me it was a great honor. The medical technology are very good and if you trust your doctors, you do not have to be afraid. My recovery after the transplant was also fast and I after four weeks I was feeling like my old self.
7. Why do you think there is a shortage of donors in South Africa?
The shortage in organ donors are in my opinion because of people’s unawareness about the big need for donors in South Africa. People that know might be afraid and then there is also the fact that the people that are willing to be donors are not healthy enough. It is very important to look after your health if you want to be an organ donor.
8. What is the biggest stigma / myth you have heard about organ donation?
A stigma that people think they cannot have the same life after being a donor than before.
9.If you could describe donation in one word, what would it be?
10.Summarise the benefits of organ donation in one word.
12. Are there any reason NOT to be an organ donor?
No, not if you are a healthy person. (For a living donor, for deceased donors the medical staff access the state of the organs and tissue. Even people with chronic conditions can be deceased donors).
13. If you could be any organ, what organ would you be and why?
A kidney, then I will be able to donate a second kidney if my son might need a second transplant later in his life.