“I Would Do it Again in a Heartbeat”, This Sister Donated Her Kidney, Gifting Her Brother His Health

As originally reported in Edinburgh Evening News; Assed Ramae felt the depths of familial love when he received his younger sisters kidney, saving him from the decline from his stage 4 kidney cancer. He had experienced years of his health spiraling, and he needed dialysis, and a new liver and kidney. Receiving the kidney transformed his calendar, without his draining sessions of dialysis, he was given a second chance to live.

Ramae’s Health Decline

Ramae began to experience symptoms when he was 19. First it was kidney stones, then more symptoms began to flare up and his health was spiraling. Tests revealed he had hyperoxaluria, a liver condition that also disrupts the kidney’s ability to function. This sent him and his doctors into action- but the action was grueling. He needed to be put on dialysis, and he needed a new liver and kidney. They were able to go ahead with the liver transplant within the year, and in 2018 he had the surgery. Pleased with the results, the doctors kept him on dialysis, and searched for a live donation for a new kidney. This is no small task. Hundreds of British patients are on waiting lists for the organ, and according to NHS Blood and Transplant, patients wait on average between one and three years. However, hundreds of others are stuck waiting for a good match for over seven years. With this said, 800 people in his home country of Scotland have already donated their own functioning organ in the last ten years for others in need. His sister explained after he’d already had to wait around for a liver, they wanted to speed up the process for the kidney, so his siblings got tested, and she was a match.

Life Post-Transplant

Returning to more manageable health made him appreciative of the routine chores that comprise daily life we usually wouldn’t bat an eye at. He said,

“Now just simple things like being able to take my daughter to the leisure centre, remind me that life can restart.”

He explained how receiving the transplant freed him up from his consuming health care needs. He explained the toll dialysis took, and how much easier it is to no longer be tied to it. Ramae explained,

“I spent around three years dialysing, before and after my first transplant, and found it to be so draining, it would wipe me out for an entire day. Balancing twilight dialysis, where I’d get home from the hospital after midnight, with work was so tiring, so I’m looking forward to getting back to work without this burden.”

Ramae now aim to bring awareness to the practice of living kidney donations, as his sister did for him. Donations from those who are still living are much more effective as transplants, compared to receiving the organ from someone who has already passed.

His sister and organ donor Noreen said,

“To anyone considering living donation, I’d say just go for it. My recovery hasn’t been as straightforward as I’d hoped, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

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