Life changing donation
Geraint John, 65, lived a healthy life until at the age of 48, he started to experience unexplained pains in his shoulder.
A few weeks later in January 2013, Geraint also noticed that his urine was dark orange in colour and so visited the doctor.
Geraint was told that he had kidney failure caused by vasculitis, inflammation of your blood vessels, which had caused swelling in his shoulder and had caused his kidneys to shut down.
Before I knew it, I was in the back of an ambulance heading straight to Moriston Hospital. I was greeted by a doctor who held my hand and told me that I had kidney failure. He took a biopsy of my kidney, and after a couple of hours, I was receiving dialysis treatment. I was completely in shock.
In August 2003, after just six weeks of treatment, Geraint went back to work and was placed on the transplant list.
On 29th September 2003 at 4.00am, Geraint received the telephone call that would change his life. A match had been found from a cadaveric donor whose family had consented to donation. He was rushed to the University Hospital of Wales and by 9.30pm that day, he was on the operating table.
The kidney donation I have received has been life changing. I feel like since my transplant, there’s nothing I can’t do! I love trekking and hiking, and since the donation, I’ve walked Hadrian’s Wall and Basecamp at Everest to raise funds for Paul Popham Fund. I’ve also hiked the Taff trail from Brecon to Cardiff, in one day, which was an 18 and a half hour walk and in April this year, I did 50K steps in my back garden during Covid-19 as part of my fundraising.
Although the operation has completely transformed my life and given me back my health, I do sometimes find it oddly conflicting that someone else had to die in order for me to live. I hope that it brings my donor family comfort to know that the death wasn’t in vain, and that the gift of they have given me is something I’ll never forget.