Jackie Smiley (transplant recipient, 67 yr. old)
After being on dialysis for almost 16 years, (treatment lasting 4 hours 3 times a week), my sister Joan was considered suitable to donate a kidney so I could receive a transplant from her.
The transplant operation was very successful and it wasn’t long before I was up and about with help from the nursing staff. Each day I was able to progress and do a bit more for myself. I was a bit sore but the painkillers helped to ease what pain I had in the first few days. The surgical, medical and nursing staff was there every morning to check my progress and if necessary change my medication.
Then came the day for me to go home – I couldn’t wait as I felt so well but I knew that I would have to be patient and go slowly. After taking it easy for a couple of months I felt much improved and couldn’t wait to see my friends again (they have all stayed away initially in case I picked up any infection).
Now six months after my transplant I have been on two holidays and a long weekend which was great as I could go away without having to think about trying to arrange dialysis and all the diet and fluid restrictions that are necessary when on dialysis.
This transplant has given me a new lease of life and it is thanks to my wonderful loving sister Joan and the expertise of the staff at the Belfast City Hospital who I can’t thank enough.