Agonising wait for organ transplant
SOUTHEASTERN SUBURBS JOHN Bloor remembers the agonising wait until he heard the news he had a new kidney waiting for him.
“The person was at Charles Gairdner Hospital on life support – they were turning the machine off,” he said.
“There were two of us there waiting for a kidney because he was giving a kidney to each of us.”
It’s been three months since Mr Bloor (63) received his kidney and he’s extremely grateful to the donor who gave him a new lease on life.
Before his transplant, he had been undergoing home dialysis four days a week for two years due to kidney failure, the result of a genetic condition known as polycystic kidney disease (PKD).
Mr Bloor’s mother had the disease, which is characterised by the growth of cysts on the kidneys. It was passed on to three of her four sons.
Mr Bloor’s second eldest brother Geoffrey, who was not affected by the disease, donated a kidney to brother Murray about 10 years ago. His half-brother Kevin Rumble received a kidney from his wife Esther Rumble about five years ago, but Mr Bloor had to go on dialysis while he waited to get a kidney from a donor.
He was diagnosed with PKD about 20 years ago, but the disease later led to complete kidney failure.
Mr Bloor was put on a home dialysis machine, so he did not have to travel to hospital four times a week to have his blood cleaned.
Each time he had dialysis it would take him an hour and 15 minutes to set the machine up and 15 minutes to get the needle into his arm. He then has to spend 4½ hours sitting next to the machine while it replicated a function of the kidneys and filtered toxins out of his blood.
It took Mr Bloor three months before he could go on the kidney transplant waiting list as there are a number of things to consider before a transplant can take place, including the age and health of the patient.
Nine months later, he received the news that a compatible kidney had been found for him.
Mr Bloor is currently on medication to ensure his body won’t reject the new organ, but he is now free from dialysis.
“I still have to be careful and watch my diet, but it does change your life so much – and the lives of those around you.
“I really do encourage people to donate.”