Growing up, I always knew that I wanted to be in the hospital due to my fascination with the human anatomy, an instinct for healing and caring for others. Unfortunately, fate had other plans for me to be in the hospital, as I was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure at the tender age of fourteen.
Kidney failure could present itself in many ways. For me it was simple symptoms that any parent could miss, and blame on the fact that teenagers are just going through changes. Initially, there was a loss of appetite and general fatigue. Things really became an issue when I got debilitatingly painful cramps in my extremities. That was the final warning sign that caused my mother and me to seek medical help. From that point onwards the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex became my second home.
After being on the Paediatric ward for some time, I was finally diagnosed with end-stage renal failure. This illness is increasingly becoming more prevalent among young adults. Immediately, I was fitted with a special catheter for haemodialysis, which I had to do twice a week for three long hours. This was accompanied by many diet and lifestyle changes that had to be made for me to begin the path to healing.
Finally, after a year of dialysis, my mother and I began to look at the option of transplantation. As anyone who has knowledge about medicine would know, finding a donor who matches you perfectly as to avoid organ rejection, is one of the most difficult tasks one can have.
Luckily, for us the answer was there all along. My mother was more than prepared to take the noble step at giving her child a second gift of life. She was going to be my living related donor.
After transplantation, the recovery period from the surgery was a difficult one. Being on house lockdown for three months due to a weakened immune system from the anti-rejection medication was that hardest part. Being away from school for an entire term, not being able to see my friends, and essentially being bedridden due to the incision was only the cherry on top.
Thankfully, now three years after the transplant I am in full health and living life as any normal young adult would This was from the hard work of my caregiving team and loving mother. Due to modern medicine, kidney failure is no longer a death sentence. Now with my full health I am seeking to become a paediatrician, so that I too can bring healing to children and young adults just as my caregivers did for me.