Organ donation

Chris - Interview 32

Male
Age at interview: 73

Brief outline: Chris donated a kidney to an anonymous recipient in 2010, when he was 72. Both he and the recipient recovered well. Chris is now involved in a new organisation that aims to raise awareness of living kidney donation.

Background: Chris is married and has three children. He is a consultant physician. Ethnic background / nationality' White British.

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Chris donated a kidney altruistically to an anonymous recipient in 2010, when he was 72. A healthcare professional, Chris had always been keen to help reducing suffering. He also knew that it was possible to live a healthy life with only one kidney, and that non-directed (anonymous) living kidney donation had been successfully taking place for several years. After doing some research and talking to doctors, Chris was confident that the chances of anything going wrong were very slim.

Chris contacted his local transplant centre and was invited for an initial consultation with the specialist nurse [transplant coordinator]. He started having tests to see whether he would be a suitable donor. From the first consultation to surgery, it took six months. Once he knew he was suitable and healthy enough to donate, he was given an approximate date for surgery. He then emailed his three adult children and told them what he was planning to do. They all responded positively, and his wife also supported his decision.

The surgery went smoothly and, shortly afterwards, the consultant told Chris that the kidney he had donated was functioning very well in the recipient. About a month later, Chris received a letter from the recipient himself, who told him how much better he was feeling since the transplant. He had been on dialysis before then.

Chris was in hospital for about three days and was then discharged. He took it easy for the first week and said, by around week four, he was back to doing all his normal daily activities. He is now very well and has annual check-ups to monitor his blood pressure and kidney function.  

Chris said he was grateful for the opportunity to donate and is a great believer in the principles of the NHS. He is keen on raising awareness of living kidney donation and was interviewed by his local newspaper. He is also involved in a new organisation that aims to raise awareness of living kidney donation' www.giveakidney.org.uk
 

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