This #TransplantTuesday, we feature the story of Stoffel de Bruin, 57, living in Worcester, Western Cape.
1. Which organ did you receive, and in what year?
I received a kidney transplant in 2019.
2. How long were you on the waiting list for your organ?
I was on the waiting list for five years and three months, I was on dialysis for six years before my transplant.
3. What was life like before the transplant? How did you spend your days?
I was an active working dad. I love being outdoors, fishing, and cycling (9 times cycle tours) golfing and gardening. As the kidney functions started to deteriorate due to polycystic kidney disease, I lost my ability to do what I loved. Days was spend working until 16:00 then dialysis coming home around 21:00. Life as I knew it come to an end. Surviving became reality.
4. Describe the emotions experienced when you received “The Call” for your transplant?
On the Thursday I was told that it may take a while. T HE CALL came to 2 days later. I was stunted, excited, emotional, yet scared for the unknown. I only called a few family members. My mind was raising yet everything started moving in slow motion.
5. What is life like now, after the transplant?
I remember the first time I walked in my garden, was the sweet smell of roses and that reminded me that I was alive. Life as I knew it was returning to normal as I had the energy to do the things I used to do. With this give of life I needed live life to the best of my ability to honour the family of the donor. I will always be grateful and never take life for granted.
6. What advice would you give patients on the waiting list?
Reach out to people for physical and emotional support. The road can get lonely, so you need support. Keep to the strict medical advice by the doctors. Never give up, you have only one life.
7. Why do you think there is a shortage of donors in South Africa?
Lack of awareness and education let your family know how you feel about
being a donor so when the time comes for them to make a decision your
wishes will be respected.
8. If you could describe transplant in one word, what would it be?