Organ donation

Margo - Interview 01

Female
Age at interview: 61

Brief outline: Margo donated a kidney to her younger brother in 1997, when she was 48 and they were both living in America. The surgery went smoothly and, over thirteen years on, both she and her brother are well.

Background: Margo is a married volunteer and has two adult children. Ethnic background/nationality' White American.

Audio & video

Margo donated a kidney to her younger brother in 1997, when she was 48 and they were both living in America. Her brother was diagnosed with kidney failure and was on dialysis for five years in total. Doctors suggested the possibility of having a transplant. Margo was one of four children and had the same blood type as her brother. She went ahead with tests but these showed she was not eligible because she rarely drank water and had a poor diet. Margo started eating healthily and drinking lots of water and, a year later, was retested.  This time she was eligible.

Margo said her biggest fear was that her kidney would reject. The surgery went smoothly and, over thirteen years on, both she and her brother are well. Margo said she’d been ‘thrilled with the whole process... and there hasn’t been any downsides.’ She and her brother have always been very close. Since his transplant, he has visited her in the UK, something he would never have done before the operation.

Margo said her brother felt well almost immediately after the surgery and was only in hospital for a few days. She was in hospital for about three or four days. Back at home, she recovered well and was soon able to do everything she’d done before, without needing help or to be cared for. She was advised to take six weeks to recover completely. Over thirteen years on Margo is fit and well, and encourages other people to consider living kidney donation to help improve the quality of life of another person. She said donating a kidney to her brother also improved her life and that, since then, she has had a healthier diet herself.

Margo now has annual follow-up appointments and is keen to raise awareness of organ donation and living kidney donation. She felt that more awareness of these topics was important, starting with education in schools.
 

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