Greg Serradinho, 34 years old from sunny Polokwane (Limpopo) tells his story of receiving a liver transplant.
1. Which organ did you receive, and in what year?
I had a liver transplant in December 2017.
2. How long were you on the waiting list for your organ?
I was placed on the waiting list in August 2017 and received “The Call” in December 2017.
3. What was life like before the transplant? How did you spend your days?
Where do I begin, 2017 was by far thee most challenging. Doctor’s tried numerous procedures to prolong my liver and the ‘norm’ became 2 weeks in hospital, 2 weeks at home and the pattern repeated itself for the majority of the year. I was at this point 30 years old weighing 59kg and as yellow as a Minion and my skin was so itchy that I would scratch or rub my arms, legs and chest until it bled. I wouldn’t wish my symptoms upon anybody, even my worst enemy (no I don’t have enemies).
4. Describe the emotions experienced when you received “The Call” for your transplant?
I will never forget it, my parents had just collected myself, my wife and my son and we were on our way to church. I was so overwhelmed on the phone and couldn’t wait to share the news. Many things crossed my mind but knew this is what I had been waiting for, today was my day. Our prayers had been answered.
5. What is life like now, after the transplant?
Absolutely amazing! It’s indescribable. I look forward to each new day with my beautiful family by my side. Quality of life is phenomenal & planning events months in advance is now realistic & achievable. Words cannot describe my gratitude.
6. What advice would you give patients on the waiting list?
Listen to your Doctors! Do what they ask of you. Remain positive and trust the process.
7. Why do you think there is a shortage of donors in South Africa?
Our beautiful country has many religions, cultures & beliefs. Religious and cultural beliefs play a role, because they influence the decisions people make about the remains of their loved ones. South Africa should automatically make all citizens organ/tissue donors. If you wish not to be a donor you may then opt out or deregister.
8. If you could describe transplant in one word, what would it be?