On the 1st September 2015, Laurie Smith made the most selfless decision anyone could ever make…she made the decision to donate her kidney. Laurie has been a friend of my husband’s family for over 15 years. She heard about my condition through the family, and said that she was willing to check her compatibility as a donor. In fact before we even got to meet up to discuss it further Laurie did blood tests to determine whether she was a viable donor, and it turned out that she was!! A year later and we are heading for the finish line! Laurie has been the driving force behind us getting to this final stage. Her passion and willingness to be an organ donor is admirable and she has set such an example for those wanting to donate and help others.
Once we knew Laurie was a match we began the transplant work up which has involved many hours, days, weeks and months of tests, assessments, trips to Durban and Johannesburg, doctors appointments, hospital visits and a lot of nail biting in anticipation.
Laurie has been tested for everything you could possibly think of….and she has come out tops! Am so amazed at her determination and willingness throughout this whole process. As we do one test, we take a step closer to the reality of her donating her kidney to me but the closer we get the more stressful it gets as at any point the process could come to an end. But we have kept our positive pants on and have sailed through and so far so good.
Laurie has been through so much these last few months. She has had her blood taken (too many times to count), drunk many bottles of water, had all sorts of solutions injected into her, carried around a 5L drum to measure her urine over 24 hours, done a chest x-ray, a 3D renal CT scan, had her blood pressure monitored over 24 hours (which involved having a BP machine attached to her for 24 hours, squeezing her arm every half an hour), been for a full physical and had a grueling psychology assessment. And throughout it all, Laurie has remained so positive and full of beans and determined this is going to happen. Laurie thank you for making this process such a priority in your life and for making something that can be really stressful so easy as you constantly light up any room with the most beautiful big smile and bubbly personality! You are such a unique,special person who deserves so much!
We have reached the final stage of our transplant work up and what an incredible year it has been! Every step of the way we have been blessed with positive results and good health. As we have now finished all the tests (both Laurie and I), we are now ready to submit our file with all the results and assessments as well as motivation letters to the Department of Health (DOH) where the Minister of Health will assess everything and make the final decision.
The journey Laurie and I have experienced together has been so memorable and no matter what the outcome, I know we will be in each others lives forever and she will be a very special part of our family. People like Laurie make this world a better place and I am so grateful she has chosen me as the blessed recipient to her kidney.
We are hoping to get an answer from the department of health in the next 3 months so stay tuned for some really good news soon!