DAD’S KIDNEY BATTLE
GUNN father-of-four Cameron Mangels doesn’t know what it feels like to be healthy.
The 34-year-old has been on high blood pressure medication for most of his life, which has destroyed his kidneys and led to several serious health issues.
His condition is now critical and he needs a new kidney to function.
“I got sick – just a normal cold – when I was about seven, and mum took me to the local GP,” Mr Mangels said. “She took my blood pressure, which was not normal practice at that age, just to see what was going on and I had very high blood pressure.”
About five years ago, Mr Mangels and wife Melita relocated to Darwin from Queensland on the advice of his doctor – who said given the high rate of renal failure in the NT capital, it was a better place to receive ongoing treatment.
While in Darwin the couple welcomed kids Hunter, 5, River, 3, and Ivy, 1 – his nineyear-old daughter still lives in Queensland.
While building a family in the NT was a wonderful time, sadly, Mr Mangels’ health has deteriorated. He is now undergoing five-hour dialysis treatment three nights a week while working to support his family.
“Over the course of 27 years, taking hypertension medications, the end result has brought on kidney failure,” he said.
Mr Mangels is on the waiting list for a kidney donor.
In October last year, the Mangels received a phone call at 4.20am telling them the kidney of a 65-year-old man was theirs.
Sadly, because Mr Mangels was in Oenpelli doing some bush work, he wasn’t able to get to Adelaide in time for the operation.
Melita described it as a “wake-up call”.
The family is crowd-funding to help cover the $10,000 cost of a transplant.
Melita said while they have been saving some money, donations would make a big difference.
Once a donor becomes available, Mr Mangels will need to travel to Adelaide for the surgery and take three months off work.
He said he was looking forward to a future without the need for dialysis.
“I just want to live a normal life, going on a family holiday for a week and not have to go to hospital. It’s just the little things that you take for granted,” he said.
To donate, or for more information, visit https://au.gofundme.com/my-husbandskidney-transplant
Gunn residents Melita and Cameron Mangels, with their children Hunter, 5, River, 3 and Ivy, 1, are calling for donations so Cameron can travel to Adelaide for a transplant