Organ donation

Darren - Interview 02

Male
Age at interview: 39

Brief outline: In 2010, Darren donated a kidney to his 19-year-old daughter. Both recovered well, though he would have liked more information about reimbursement for loss of wages.

Background: Darren is a single production assistant and has an adult daughter. Ethnic background / nationality' Mixed Race.

Audio & video

In 2010, Darren donated a kidney to his 19-year-old daughter. Darren’s daughter had had kidney problems for some time. She was frequently in and out of hospital and had to go on dialysis. It became apparent that she would need a kidney transplant and Darren agreed to donate one of his.

Darren described how he had to go through many tests to find out if he was suitable to be a donor. These involved a urine analysis, x-rays, blood tests, an ECG and a renal ultrasound. Unfortunately, his daughter had some complications and the operation was postponed. Two years later, Darren had to go through all the tests again. The re-tests showed that he was still a suitable donor and a date for the surgery was set.

Before the operation, Darren was given a DVD on living donation, where recipients and donors discussed their thoughts and experiences. However, he would have liked to have seen footage of the actual operation as well. He was already certain that he wanted to donate but was intrigued to find out about the surgery.

Shortly before surgery, Darren attended a workshop where more was explained about the operation and what to expect. He said that, although he found this helpful, it would have been more useful earlier on. It was a lot to take in so soon before the operation.

Darren described how the recovery process felt very slow at first. After the operation, the blood drip caused him discomfort and he found it difficult to sleep. He also developed a condition called pleuritic chest pain, which he felt prolonged the recovery process. It caused him a lot of pain and restricted what he could eat.

Once discharged from hospital, Darren stayed at his girlfriend’s house for the first few days. At this point, he still could not eat much and was just beginning to walk again. However, Darren was glad to be out of hospital because he could take things at his own pace. A couple of days later, he started eating more and feeling normal again.

Darren explained that he never worried about the emotional or physical effects of the operation but was more concerned about the practical impacts. He had to take time off work for the operation and recovery, and was concerned that he might not be reimbursed for loss of wages.

At the time of interview, Darren was recovering at home and predicted that he may need three months off work because of the physical nature of his job. Before the surgery, he had applied for reimbursement from an organisation that provides this service for renal transplants, but had received nothing so far. Darren wished he’d been advised about it earlier as he was beginning to worry about how he’d manage financially. He would always have gone through with the operation regardless of any hardship, and was pleased to say his daughter was also recovering well.
 

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