Kidney transplant recipient shares gratitude for 'gift' that changed his life

Kidney transplant

The NHS has launched the ‘Leave Them Certain’ campaign, which aims to make sure people let their relatives know of their organ donation wishes should they ever have to make that heart-breaking decision. - Credit: E&N Hertfordshire NHS Trust

A Welwyn Garden City patient is one of several to have paid tribute to organ donors who have changed their lives for the better – with a message of thanks on World Kidney Day today,  March 11.

David Green, who has been under the care of the Stevenage-based Lister Hospital area renal team due to kidney problems, has reflected how having organ transplants has provided him with a "gift” – the opportunity to live life how he wants to.

Without a kidney transplant, those with kidney failure often experience constant tiredness, can’t pass urine normally and have a restricted diet.

They also have to spend 16 or more hours a week having dialysis – a procedure to remove waste products and excess fluid from the blood when the kidneys stop working properly.

Dialysis machine

Dialysis three times a week is the reality for many, with East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust providing this for patients at renal units across the area - Credit: Harry Hubbard

The solution is kidney transplants – but there remains a chronic shortage of donors, something the NHS is seeking to address in the ‘Leave Them Certain’ campaign.


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David was able to have his dialysis at his home in Welwyn Garden City after receiving training at Lister, and feels fortunate that he only had to wait a few months for a suitable match.

The 66-year-old received his transplant in 2017 – with the kidney donated by the family of a woman who sadly died in an accident.

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“That’s all I know of the donor, but will forever be grateful to her and her family for this gift that changed my life,” said David.

The campaign, Leave Them Certain, is encouraging everyone to make sure their relatives know of their organ donation wishes should they ever have to make that decision. 

In the past 12 months, 16 life-saving transplants have been made possible thanks to donors from Lister Hospital.

But dialysis three times a week is the reality for many, with East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust providing this for patients at renal units across the area – including in Bedford, Harlow, Luton and St Albans, as well as Lister Hospital itself.

David is a member of the Lister Area Kidney Patients Association, which is dedicated to improving the lives of kidney patients and their families served by the Lister Hospital in Stevenage.

For more information about the charity, visit www.lakpa.org.

To register your organ donation decision go to www.organdonation.nhs.uk.

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