Jacques Boshoff, 19 years old from Waverley Pretoria received a kidney from his mother when he was only 10 years old.
1. Which organ/tissue did you receive, and in what year?
I received a kidney on the 6th of November 2012.
2. How long were you on the waiting list for your organ/tissue?
I was fortunate enough not to be on the donor waiting list, after the doctors informed us I would need a kidney transplant. My mother went through the required tests to see if her kidney would be compatible to my own body. She was the first parent that went for the tests and luckily she was a perfect match.
3. What was life like before the transplant? How did you spend your days?
Life for me was completely normal. I had a normal childhood before the transplant i.e. I always felt physically fit and never really tired. I was like any other child my age, I played rugby, cricket, tennis and any other sport that included a ball. That’s what always kept me happy, playing sport was always my favorite thing to do. That’s what made me feel like any other 10 year old around. I had to visit the doctor’s quite frequently for check-ups and it was only in my tenth year that the doctors said that it would be vital for me to get a kidney transplant. I was lucky to still have good health, but my blood tests showed something else. Luckily I was a bit young to get too worried about my illness. I just knew at the time that I will need a transplant and the sooner I can get it, the better for me.
4. Describe the emotions experienced when you were informed that you needed a transplant?
I was very young when I my parents received the call that I needed a transplant. When my parents told me that’s the next step I had many emotions, firstly felt shocked and then somewhat afraid. Like any other 10 year old would feel, “will it hurt?” But I’ve always trusted my parent’s judgement and they told me everything will be alright.
5. What is life like now, after the transplant?
I live now like any other person do, I was fortunate enough to have the right people at the right time in my life. I have always been taught how to live with my condition and adapt to what is in the best interest for my kidney. Life is much better and it is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
6. What advice would you give patients on the waiting list?
Always have hope that there is a second chance and keep good faith. Talk about your condition and always make other people aware about the importance of organ donation.
Try not to be afraid.
7. Why do you think there is a shortage of donors in South Africa?
Most people are afraid of what is to come, it is a very big decision to make.
8. If you could describe transplant in one word, what would it be?