DO­NATE LIFE

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

AN­THONY Polomka un­der­stands the gift of an or­gan do­na­tion first-hand.

The Como res­i­dent’s life has been rad­i­cally im­proved since re­ceiv­ing a kid­ney trans­plant five years from a stranger.

“I had in­her­ited a ge­netic dis­or­der called poly­cys­tic kid­ney dis­ease, which means you get cysts grow­ing in your kid­neys that dis­place the healthy tis­sue,” he said.

“So over time the cysts get big­ger and your kid­ney func­tion starts to fail. It oc­curs in one in 800 peo­ple, so it’s one of the more com­mon ge­netic dis­or­ders.

“It just hap­pened over a pe­riod of time that I went from healthy to my kid­neys dlowly de­te­ri­o­rat­ing.

“It had a re­mark­able ef­fect on my life; in re­nal fail­ure it’s like you are walk­ing through a fog and you’re tired all the time.”

Mr Polomka ended up with re­nal fail­ure, which meant he was on dialysis at home.

“It takes about six hours to dial­yse, to get the ma­chine run­ning, hook your­self up for four hours and then take your­self off again,” he said.

“You sur­vive on dialysis, you don’t re­ally live.”

Mr Polomka’s life was dra­mat­i­cally changed when he re­ceived a call that it was time for a kid­ney trans­plant.

“We were in Dwellingup at the time on hol­i­days and I got a call at 12.30 at night say­ing ‘would you like a trans­plant’ and it was so sur­pris­ing, nerve-rack­ing and ex­cit­ing,” he said.

“We woke the kids and told them ‘it’s on’ and the staff wanted us at Royal Perth Hos­pi­tal at 6am, so we had to pack our gear and drove back to Perth in the mid­dle of the night.

Mr Polomka said the dif­fer­ence in his qual­ity of life be­fore and af­ter the oper­a­tion was “chalk and cheese”.

“You go from sur­viv­ing to re­ally thriv­ing; it’s been a re­mark­able change,” he said.

“There are con­se­quences. You are im­muno­com­pro­mised be­cause they use drugs to stop your body re­ject­ing the trans­plant, so you al­ways have to take those pills and you can’t eat raw food or soft cheeses, but that’s a mi­nor ir­ri­tant com­pared to the func­tion­al­ity.

“You are back work­ing full-time and you are fully en­gaged with your fam­ily. We have been trav­el­ling to­gether so you are able to be nor­mal.

“Any­one who is willing to do­nate, I have enor­mous re­spect and ad­mi­ra­tion for be­cause it’s such a great ben­e­fit to peo­ple, it’s such a gen­er­ous gift.

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