Last week, my father was asked to be one of the speakers at the kidney transplant forum held at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City. He narrated to the audience his experiences as a kidney transplant recipient and he answered questions from the people about their concerns once they or their loved ones have to undergo the same procedure.
In the same forum, the invited medical doctors address the fears of the patients, their donors and their loved ones and assured them of how safe and life saving kidney transplantation is.
One of the issues raised by the donors was if what they saw happened to Dave in the soap opera “ Tayong Dalawa,” was true? Like Dave having convulsions, having a hard time to breathe and feeling extremely weak after donating his kidney to his twin brother JR.
That same question was repeatedly asked to my brother by his officemates because they saw that episode on television too and knew that my brother donated one of his kidneys for my father.
I haven’t seen that episode on television and all those inquiries made me curious about it; I was actually browsing through youtube to watch it but I haven’t caught it just yet.
When Paul donated one of his kidneys to Papa, he had to be hospitalized for four days and he needed a two week rest before he went back to work. I remembered that he only complained about how painful the wound was during the first two days and after that he was perfectly fine. And one thing I notice was that he was limping while walking, leaning towards the right side; most probably because it was the left kidney that he donated, there was some sort of imbalance due to the removal of the other pair. The left kidney was donated because the right kidney is stronger between the two.
It has been more than two years since he made that sacrifice for my dad and everything is back to normal in reference to the activities he does before. He still plays basketball and is now into cycling.
But because he only had one kidney, performing the excretory function for his body, he is very conscious with his lifestyle. He watches what he eats, he refrains from taking alcoholic beverages, he visits his doctor twice a year for check ups and he doesn’t smoke. He is restricted also to carry very heavy objects and indulge in extremely tiring activities.
When a person suffers from an end stage renal disease like what my father had before, the only way to prolong his life is either to go on dialysis for as long as he lives or have kidney transplantation.
Hemodialysis as what I’ve seen from my dad is a very painful procedure, a person must undergo for four hours, twice or thrice a week. My dad told us before that if it wasn’t for my aunt who helped us with the expenses and my brother donating his kidney, he wanted to stop doing dialysis already and was prepared to wait for his final days and meet my mom on the other side.
I am really grateful to my brother because he really volunteered his kidney for my dad and because of that we still have our father with us.
I hope that this post will remove the fears of those who want to give one of their kidneys for their loved ones and offer the gift of life. That unlike what was portrayed in the soap opera; kidney transplant is a safe procedure both for the recipient and the donor.