So the adventure begins

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.

adventure-begins

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-julz-transplant-clinic

Laurie & I at the transplant clinic in Johannesburg (Wits Donald Gordon)

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!

laurie-ct-scan

Laurie doing her 3D Renal CT Scan

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.

laurie-julz-signing

Laurie & I signing our consent papers.

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!

heartJulz

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3 thoughts on “So the adventure begins

  1. Incredible story to read, i just know its all going to continue on a smooth path, think of you often Jules. Faithfully awaiting the next positive post.

  2. Hi Julz,

    Its such exciting news that you are finally getting to the finish line.I have been following your posts with great interest

    My son and I did this journey 4 years ago and in November it will be three years since the transplant and we have never looked back. It has been an incredible journey and given him a complete new lease of life as it will yours. It is such an incredible gift of life and my life has not had to change one little bit, in fact I didn’t really feel any different once I had recovered from the operation.

    I just have one question, it seems you have opted to do the surgery in Johannesburg, why would this be if you are based in Durban? Just curious bearing in mind the few months you will have to spend in isolation.We did ours at St.Augustine and have nothing but praise for our team there.

    I wish you the very best and know that you will get the approval from the ministry of health soon.

    All the best

    Sylvia Grove

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