Steve’s Story

Steve is a transplant recipient who has been able to sustain a healthy kidney for the past 26 years. The result didn’t come without its own share of emotional and physical drawbacks. However, he hoped to share his experience to help give readers some insight about kidney transplant.

The whole transplant procedure flies through relatively quickly leaving him little time to think things through. On the day of the call, Steve was out without a mobile phone. It was his partner who received the call from the hospital and quickly got into contact with him. They rushed to the Sydney Royal Hospital as quickly as possible. From then on, things seem like a blur. “Everything was swimming” he said. He could only remembered feeling “elated to almost high” when he originally heard the news. It was only when the catheter, which was placed in his heart, didn’t function as planned that he came to realise that things were getting serious.

Having gone through hours of operation things still haven’t gone well for Steve. He woke up feeling enormous pain. Steve explained that every patient experiences things differently. The patient who was close by also had a transplant at a similar time-frame as him, yet his kidney was able to function straight away. For Steve, things didn’t come so smoothly. He was put back in dialysis once again. It wasn’t until several sessions later that his new kidney started working again. He recalled feeling disappointed as he had gone through so much yet was once again put back on dialysis. “You went from one area where you were up in the escalation then feeling devastated that your kidney isn’t working” he said. However, the doctor reassured him that his reaction was normal. His new kidney started functioning again after several sessions and it has kept on going until this very day.

Two months later he was able to go back to work. Now that he wasn’t ‘tied’ down by the dialysis machine, he was able to go overseas and enjoy quality times with his loved ones. The one advice he wanted to pass on to those who are planning to receive a transplant is to take up that opportunity. “Go for it. (It’s) the best thing I have ever done” Steve said. Though all cases wouldn’t be the same, but it’s an opportunity for a patient to lead a normal lifestyle. Although, he indicated that even after the transplant, patients are still required to take immunisation and suppression drugs. However, Steve still felt fortunate and lucky.