People always tell me I read the paper too much! Well I guess if I didn’t read the paper this eventful day then I wouldn’t be sitting here telling my story!
I was reading the Sunday Times in March 2003 when I came across this article regarding a lady who needed a kidney transplant, to be honest I looked at the heading and didn’t worry about reading the rest, I went straight to the sports pages on the back. After getting my daily fix of my weekly sport I returned to the start of the paper, again breezing past this article, which took up most of the page. I turned the page to be confronted with a little ad, saying”Your Kidney Wanted”. I thought this was odd but read the advert anyway; it’s at that moment I went back to the story on the other page and read the whole article. I read this article 4 times.
From the moment I sent the email I knew I would be the one donating my kidney. From there the long process began finding out if I was a match and to make sure my brain was on the same page as my body. I met Gail early on in the proceedings; I think if I hadn’t met her I would never have gone through with this. I visited her at dialysis and saw how much not only herself but what everyone with kidney disease has to endure.
It took nearly a year for all the testing and paper work to be completed and in February 2004 we underwent the surgery at Royal Perth Hospital. I must admit that the months prior to this I was getting a little edgy. Not because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go ahead, but the amount of time it was taking. Not once throughout the entire time did I ever feel that I could not go ahead with it.
The morning of the operation was quite a whirlwind with last minute interviews with “Today Tonight” and the “Sunday Times”. I went into surgery about 8am on the Monday and the only thing I remember actually inside the theatre was telling my surgeon I didn’t like his taste in music! I got back to my room at approximately 3pm and don’t remember much from the next 2 days. I was released from hospital on the Thursday but was again readmitted that night with an infection in my urinary tract.
Since this operation a lot of people ask me why I did this. My only answer so far to these questions is, because I can!
I still see Gail on a regular basis and to see how much her life has changed it gives me great satisfaction in what I have done.
It has now been a year since I donated my kidney to Gail. My life is back to normal on all accounts. I restarted work 2 weeks after the operation and went back to sport 6 weeks after that. I have had no ill affects since. I recently got engaged to my wonderful partner who through all of this has been a tremendous support, and we are expecting our first child in April 2005.
I get asked a lot about why there was so much media attention. Believe me if it was solely up to me all of it wouldn’t have taken place, but I agreed because it was a good way to get peoples attention towards Organ Donation. Also this was the first time in Perth a Living stranger to stranger altruistic kidney transplant has been performed. (Well so I have been told)
I have also been asked how much money I got from this! As I say to them, this procedure cost me money not made me money.