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Hello all.

Post by anonymous_bloke »

Hello All,

First, apologies for my anonymity, I don't want my family knowing my thoughts yet! Here is my situation.

A family member on my wife's side is in her late 60s and has rapidly deteriorating kidney function. At the current rate, she expects to require dialysis / transplant within 5 years or so. Because of her age, she isn't hopeful of being the recipient of a donor on a general waiting list from a deceased donor.

From her immediate family, nobody is a blood match apart from me (I also realise there is more to compatibility than just blood type) . I'm a fit and healthy man in my 30's and am considering offering to donate to her.

However If I do it, I would like it to be very soon, whilst she is still fit and strong, rather than waiting for her to deteriorate. Would the NHS be open to doing a transplant when the patient is not in a critical situation yet?

I fear that if we wait, she would be well into her 70s by the time she REALLY needs the transplant, and getting older and weaker to go through such major surgery. I figure if we do it now, her quality of life could be improved for the next decade or 2. If we wait, there wont be much point.

I also worry about the ethics of donating from someone relatively young to someone much older. It doesn't bother me so much (its my kidney - I can do what I want with it!) but I know some people would look upon her as being selfish for taking an organ going on 70 years old. Is this an issue?

Anyone here have experience of this type of situation?
Posts: 658
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 1:58 pm
Location: London

Re: Hello all.

Post by AmandaClare »

Hi anonymous

It's a very kind and generous thought!

You're absolutely right that pre-emptive transplantation, before dialysis is required, is far preferable. It gives better outcomes not to mention preserving quality of life.

However they won't do it so far in advance of the need. They'll do what they can to extend your relative's own kidney and keep them chugging on for as long as possible. Five years can only be an estimate - it could be one or ten years. Only when she's definitely reaching end stage will they start making plans.

People do get kidneys from the general pool in their 60s and 70s. Whether she would be put on the list depends more on her health and individual circumstances than her age.

Finally, other family members might not be able to donate directly (though some transplants are even done across blood groups now) but could do it as part of a pairing arrangement or a pool.

I'm not saying any of this to stamp on your generous notion. You may be able to donate to you relative - if you think and research some more and still think its something you could do, there's no harm starting the conversation among the family and with doctors. And if you don't end up donating to her there's a programme for donating to the general list - see giveakidney.org

All the best
Alports Syndrome
Dialysis 1986, aged 14
Transplant 1988, still going strong!
Baby boy 2010
Posts: 1380
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:04 am
Location: Doncaster

Re: Hello all.

Post by rheaybou »

https://www.facebook.com/GiveaKidneyUK/ ... 6287121395
Maybe make contact with this group, they are all donors. Give you an idea on what happens and what impact it could have on your life. I have met some of the group and they are amazing people.

Best wishes
Now 35 with Alports and I had my first kidney-versary 18th feb 2013....I hope to have many more.

My living donor and his family are doing all well.

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