Mr Feroze Mohammed
Recipient of a Cadaveric Kidney November 2013
In the name of God, the most merciful, most gracious and the all-knowing.
At age 52, my Nephrologist told me that my kidneys will fail due to Polycystic Kidney disease. It was indeed heart wrenching and a hidden inner trauma to me when he revealed this. Eventhough, I was at that time feeling physically and mentally capable of going through my normal daily life routine. There was no known medication and treatment that will prevent the cysts from its natural growth. The doctor advised me of the measures to assist in maintaining a healthy life style and to minimize other risk factors in my life. He mentioned that a healthy heart must be managed and the GFR checked to measure the kidney function. I was placed on a renal diet, asked to maintain my blood pressure levels, keep my blood glucose and blood cholesterol at a targeted level, be physically active and to take my prescribed medicines as indicated. All these measures were part of my new lifestyle changes.
I was told that in my life time I must be prepared for dialysis treatment and possibly a kidney transplant depending on my medical progress and my adaptation to this new routine in the future.
From early 2012, at age 66, the doctors alerted me that the GFR was lowered to 15 and I must be prepared for dialysis at this time. A catheter was placed, as I started to experience the symptoms of kidney impairment. In October 2012, I started the hemodialysis process twice per week. This was a new and big change in my life in the midst of being a retiree from my job as an area sales Manager with an International Food Company. The Nephrologists advised me that I was a good candidate for a kidney transplant and to start looking for alive DONOR. He gave me a letter to take personally to the National Organ Transplant Unit (NOTU) at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Champ Fleurs, Mt Hope in Trinidad & Tobago requesting that I be placed on the list for a kidney transplant.
THE MOST GRATIFYING AND POSITIVE MOMENT HAS ARRIVED – A GIFT OF LIFE.
On the night of the 7th November 2013, at 11.30 pm, a telephone call summoned me to report immediately to the NOTU for an evaluation towards a possible kidney transplant. With utmost shock and delight in the midst of informing the family, we took complete silence for a few moments in prayer to GOD the most merciful and provider. I imagined a total transformation of my life from one extreme to the next. Was this a dream that was becoming a reality? – Yes it was. As I recalled seeing my dialysis colleagues at the centre who were there for many years in waiting for a kidney transplant. Likewise, many confusing thoughts passed through my mind and then began my journey towards the Organ Transplant Unit. I arrived at about 12.30 am and the medical team went to work with their analysis and evaluations. Blood and Urine samples were assessed and I was told to return at 6.00 AM the next day. The night was very short and with minimal sleep, I was determined to undertake the IMPLANTATION PROCESS. My family was very excited and overwhelmed with high hopes and expectations for a successful transplant to improve my overall health.
THE TRANSPLANT EXPERIENCE.
Upon arriving at the Unit, I met a full complement of the medical team who indicated to me that I was cleared to receive a KIDNEY from a Deceased Donor (Cadaver) within a few hours. The kindhearted deceased donor had consented to give the kidneys. This became the most sacred and cherished gift in my life and so the opportunity to regularize my future. I was placed in the second round for the surgery as another person was booked before me. This person is now highly regarded as my kidney brother and we are well connected.
The surgical preparation and waiting for the actual transplant was long. However after approximately four hours, the procedure was completed. I understood thereafter that there were some medical challenges with my transplant during surgery. I subsequently recovered fully from the trauma of having to undergo a series of antibiotic courses, a number of scheduled laboratory tests and evaluations, including hospitalization for about two months. I remained extremely positive and hopeful and recognized that after every hardship comes ease and GOD is the best healer.
Out went my native kidneys and the acceptance and functioning of a new single kidney in my body… for my life. Very rare will one think that living with one kidney is possible, although this is a very common trend in the medical world. I learnt early from the Nephrologist that a transplant is a treatment and not a CURE, and that I must adjust my way of life with the same discipline and commitments that were identified to me prior to hemodialysis. One must understand that one’s immunosuppressant medication is very critical to one’s health and well-being. In addition to your routine, medical evaluations are equally important.
MY LIFE TO LIVE
Living with one kidney may or may not have a physiological impact on an individual. Will one kidney give me the best opportunity to function normally as you adjust your daily life? Certainly, with one functioning kidney, one has the opportunity to perform and accomplish almost every activity in one’s daily life. To me the secret is to adjust and accept in one’s mind set that even with limitations in one’s overall health and well-being, the opportunities and aspirations one wish to accomplish will and can be achieved. Your world will not turn upside down and you will subconsciously be in the same cycle that you were accustomed to. I am at the stage where I feel comfortable and thankful for a life to live and I am able to accomplish my dreams to be in great company with my family, grand- children, siblings, friends and my fellow recipients and donors from the kidney recipients group of Trinidad and Tobago.
Hopefully, my experiences will be beneficial and influential to persons who are to become donors and recipients.