Organ donation

Malcolm - Interview 22

Male
Age at interview: 65

Brief outline: Malcolm had two kidney transplants, in 1981 and 1988. The first donor was his mother; the second was a deceased donor. He had dialysis for four months. He has been well for over twenty years.

Background: Malcolm is a retired university lecturer and married. Ethnic background / nationality' British South Asian.

Audio & video

Malcolm was born in Bombay and, in 1962, left to join the merchant navy, where he worked for about six years. There, he found out that he had high blood pressure and a problem with his breathing. He was in Singapore at the time and, when his ankles also started swelling, he went to see the doctor. He was 25. Later, when he was in North Korea, Malcolm went to see another doctor, who prescribed medication and his blood pressure came down. Later, in China, he was diagnosed with nephritis, which is an inflammation of one or both of the kidneys. He tried various medications for a few years.

 Malcolm moved to England in 1974, where he was prescribed other medication for a further six years. In 1980, the possibility of having a transplant was suggested and, in 1981, Malcolm’s mother, who was 61 at the time, travelled from India to the UK to donate one her kidneys to him. 

Both Malcolm and his mother recovered well but, a few years later, tests showed that his creatinine levels had started to rise again. The kidney was slowly beginning to reject. He was given various medications but none of them stopped the rejection.

In 1987, Malcolm had kidney failure. At the end of this year, he also had triple heart bypass surgery. He then went on to have peritoneal dialysis. This involves using the patient’s peritoneum in the stomach as a membrane across which fluids and dissolved substances are exchanged from the blood. Fluid is introduced through a permanent tube in the stomach and flushed out either every night while the patient sleeps or via regular exchanges throughout the day. Its main advantage is that the patient can have treatment without visiting the hospital.

Malcolm had peritoneal dialysis for four months. During this time, he was still very active and continued cycling twenty miles a day to work.

In 1988, when Malcolm had attended hospital for a check-up, he was, unexpectedly, offered a second transplant. This time, the donor was a deceased (cadaveric) donor. At first, Malcolm was unsure about having it. He had felt depressed after the first kidney had rejected and was wary of this happening again. However, his wife persuaded him to go ahead with the surgery.

Over 22 years later, Malcolm is still fit and well. Around 1998, he was diagnosed with diabetes. He is careful with his diet but leads a full and active life.

In 1991, Malcolm took part in the British Transplant Games, and has been taking part almost annually since then. Bi-annually, he has been taking part in the World Transplant Games, and has been to the Games held in Canada, Thailand, Australia and Sweden.

Malcolm is very grateful to both his donors. He is keen on raising awareness of organ donation and in favour of presumed consent (opt-out).   
 

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