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Abeer Hussein

My transplant gave me freedom

Abeer Hussein, from Lakeside, Cardiff, received a life changing kidney transplant three years ago but some people in her community won’t be as lucky.

The former teaching assistant, now in her early 50s was diagnosed with Vesicoureteral reflux an abnormal flow of urine from the bladder to the kidneys in her thirties.

She said:

I remember visiting the doctors on and off for years. I was told that I had a urine infection and was prescribed antibiotics. When the infection kept returning, I was sure that it was something more serious.

After years of the recurring problem, I had more tests, and an ultrasound to check my kidney, which showed that I had vesicoureteral reflux, which had led to kidney failure.

After a few months on dialysis every week for 4 hours a session, I was added onto the transplant list in the hope that I could find a donor.

I found it really hard to face dialysis, some days I was so sick, I couldn’t event attend the unit. I remember one day in March meeting my friend and telling her that I was so fed-up I wasn’t going to attend my session that week.

I went home that evening I couldn’t believe my luck when I got a call from the hospital to tell me that there was a suitable donor. The nurse asked me if I could be at the hospital in thirty minutes and I had the transplant the following day.

Three years later, Abeer’s donor kidney is working well and although she still has to manage her newly transplanted organ with medication, she said that her transplant has changed her life.

She said:

My transplant has given me freedom, I can eat what I want, I can visit friends; I have my independence back.

My children have seen what a difference this transplant has had on our lives and they are all pro organ donation. Some people that think that its not allowed in Islam, but that’s not the case. I think there is a lot of misinformation about organ donation among Asian communities – and that’s why more people need to talk about it and understand that it can save a person’s life.

In Jordan, where I’m originally from, it’s often a person’s culture that deters them from supporting organ donation, rather than their religion. We need to ensure people understand the process and that if they are able to donate to another person, they can make a huge difference.

I’m so thankful that I have been given this gift of life and my story shows people that there is hope and encourages people from Asian communities to talk about organ donation.”

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