A happier future for Lewis and his family.
Lewis Evans from Ceredigion moved to Cardiff in 2015 but suddenly started to suffer terrible sickness two months later. Shortly afterwards, he was shocked to be diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, before undergoing dialysis three times a week for nearly two years. He explains how his life has turned around since:
“I was really fit and healthy pretty much right up to my diagnosis, so it came as a complete shock to both myself and my family when I was told that my kidneys had stopped working and that I needed a kidney transplant. I was put on dialysis straight away for four hours a day, then it was reduced to three times a week. I carried on working because I didn’t want it to completely take over my life and I felt like I was in control of the illness, but it was extremely difficult. Everything I did had to revolve around my treatment, it was really difficult and impacted on everything I wanted to do.
“My family were tested as possible living donors, and I was extremely lucky that my mum and my sister were both matches. My mum decided to donate because she felt it was her responsibility and didn’t want both her children undergoing surgery at the same time. I had the transplant in January 2017 and the operation went really well. In just a few months I was up on my feet and I’m working full time again. It’s amazing to see the difference it has made to my health, and I’m so grateful to my mum for the gift she has given me.
“Just six months after my operation, I participated in the 2017 Transplant Games. I would never have thought it could be possible. The Games was a great opportunity to regain my fitness, and I even managed to come away with one gold medal and two silver medals! It was a very proud moment for myself and my mum, to see how much I’d improved and to celebrate the gift of life.
“Now I realise that organ failure can happen to anyone, at any time — no matter how old you are. No one ever expects it to happen to them, but it can, and when you’ve been lucky enough to have a successful transplant like I did, it really can change your life for the better. Make sure you have that discussion with your loved ones, tell them what you want to do, because it will really help them. If you’re ever in the situation to become a donor, they will know what your decision was.”