My name is Terry and I am 62 years of age. In March 2015 I donated a kidney to a lady who had a greater need for it than I did. I had always carried a kidney donor card since I was 18 and replaced it with an organ donor card when they came out; I have my late mother to thank for that so this is her story as well as mine.
The whole process of donating started approximately 18 months earlier when I phoned Belfast City Hospital and spoke to Pauline Haslett. Literature and a DVD were posted to me and contact maintained until my first visit to Ward 11.
Through Pauline and Elaine (Donor Co-ordinators) and other staff a battery of tests were carried out and fortunately I was good enough health to proceed. I was later informed I was perfect match for a lady in England.
I attended the City Hospital on a Monday night, had the operation on Tuesday morning and home on Thursday morning. I had constant contact from Pauline, Elaine and Dr Courtney, Dr Brown and Dr McGlinley and others after the operation. They were all very attentive and made me feel very special.
I was very fortunate to have had very little pain or discomfort after pain relief was removed and I put that down to the expertise of the surgical team involved. I required no pain relief on my return home and apart from a bit of discomfort I was and still am in great form.
I received a letter from the recipient (through the city hospital) and she informed me that she was feeling great and dong things she hasn’t done in years and was able to travel to places without worrying about time and distance, able to socialise and even bathe in the sea.
To read how someone’s life has changed so much and that how they and their family can now enjoy that which most of us take for granted is a wonderful thing. I then received a card at Christmas, again through the City Hospital and thing have got even better.
The whole team at the City Hospital were very informative and supportive. I was made aware that I could withdraw from the process at any time and what to expect prior to and after the operation. There was a feeling of quietness and closeness in Ward 11, like a family bond.
I have no regrets about donating. I have gained from it and would readily do it again without hesitation. My Thanks to all at the City Hospital, Ward 11 and to my family for their unwavering support from the start.