I thought my life was over at 19. I was hospitalised after falling on some concrete and developing a massive strep infection in my elbow. This got into my blood and set up an infection in my kidneys. There were no antibiotics available in those days, and I was told that there was nothing the doctors could do except monitor me. It took 9 years for that infection to wipe out my kidneys. I was told I needed a kidney transplant.
That year I ruined Christmas. After being asked how I was, I told my family “I’m not good, I’m at the point where one of you will have to give me a kidney”. At that point I was on dialysis every 2/3 days. Once my family got their heads around it they got tested to see if they would be a match. My dad was the first, but he was too old. One of my brothers was told he was 100% match, only to then be told that the result was actually wrong. Then my younger brother who had never been sick a day in his life proved to be a good match. He offered to give me his kidney.
It’s been 32 years and that kidney is still going strong.
I am so proud to be a part of my family.