Velile Dube, 44 from Klerksdorp is a kidney transplant recipient and an organ donor activist; educating the community about organ donation. He also competed in two National and World Transplant Games.

1. Which organ did you receive, and in what year?
I had a kidney transplant in 2010.

2. How long were you on the waiting list for your organ?

6 years

3. What was life like before the transplant? How did you spend your days?
It was tough, I had to go for dialysis 3 times a week and I would spend my whole day at the dialysis centre. I had no social life and after 4 years on the waiting list, I nearly gave up hope of ever finding a match. I was depressed and my other organs took some strain, I was not able to walk properly.

4. Describe the emotions experienced when you received “The Call” for your transplant?
I was called up twice to go to the hospital before finally getting the call a third time and receiving the transplant. Usually, with a deceased donor, they call about 4 patients and do a final cross-match at the hospital. The person who is the best match then gets the transplant. I was despondent every time I had to go back home after being called up and not receiving a transplant. When the call finally came I was so ecstatic, on my way to the hospital I was already dreaming of what my life would be like after the transplant. When I woke up I saw the 5 liter bag filled with urine and I was so happy because I had stopped passing urine while on dialysis.

5. What is life like now, after the transplant?
I live a full life with my partner and four year old son. I spend my time educating the community about kidney health and the benefits of organ and tissue donation. I go to the hospitals and speak to dialysis patients and encourage them. I participated in two World Transplant Games, in Spain and England where I won a silver medal in Petanque. I just returned from competing in the National Transplant Games in Gqeberha where I qualified in Petanque for the World Transplant Games in Perth in 2023.

6. What advice would you give patients on the waiting list?
Adhere to your treatment plan and don’t lose hope.

7. Why do you think there is a shortage of donors in South Africa?
Lack of education, more effort needs to be put into reaching people at the community level to educate them about the need for organ and tissue donors.

8. If you could describe a transplant in one word, what would it be?
Dream- Come- True



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