DAD’S KID­NEY BAT­TLE

NT News - - FRONT PAGE - LAU­REN ROBERTS Health Re­porter

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

Pic­ture: KERI MEGELUS

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

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