Carwyn didn’t think it would happen at his age.
After a four-year wait, 33-year-old Carwyn Jones got the positive news he had long been waiting for when he was granted a second chance at life, after receiving a kidney and pancreas transplant in August 2020.
Despite being type 1 diabetic from the age of two, Carwyn, from Pontsian, never thought he’d experience ill-health so early in his adulthood. But in 2016, aged 29, Carwyn’s life completely changed after collapsing on his way to work.
I was rushed to A&E in Carmarthen, and after a series of tests, they discovered my heart wasn’t functioning properly. I was told my kidneys were failing and I would need dialysis treatment to keep me alive.
Dialysis made me feel low, exhausted and drained. I was the youngest person by far at the dialysis unit, and this alone was difficult to accept.
Third time lucky
Three years later, in 2019, Carwyn received a call about a possible match.
After three years on the transplant list, I finally received the call I was waiting for. They do warn you that it may not go ahead, and this was the case.
It was third time lucky for Carwyn in August 2020, when he was called to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff to receive a double pancreas and kidney transplant, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s hard to believe that in a period of such despair, I was given a second opportunity at life.
A promising future
I honestly cannot thank my donor family enough. The decision they have made means that I’m able to eventually go back to work, watch my nieces grow up, and finally enjoy life in its entirety.
I think that it’s crucial that people talk to their families and register their organ donation decisions. It affects people of all ages, and organ donation for most people is their last chance of a ‘normal’ life.
My health is improving every day. I have more energy and I’m in less pain; I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.