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Overview | Organ Shortages Critical | Information for the South Asian Community | Organs by Race?
Asian Attitudes to Organ Donation | Organ Donation and Transplantation - The Multi-Faith Perspective
Important Facts | Our Problem & Our Responsibility | Organs for Sale | One Man's Story
One Man's Story - Ten Years On | Anup Nahar's Story | Walk in Love and Hope
Living Transplants Reach All Time High | Ethnicity & Renal Failure: Disparity or Diversity
Early Management of Renal Failure: Prevention or Prevarication? | Asian Organ Donors Urgently Needed
Kidney Disease: the silent killer affecting YOU - and how to prevent it | The Body Snatchers
SADP Endorses PM'S Proposal for Presumed Consent for Organ Donation
Celebrities Back New Campaign To Urge Asian Communities To Join The NHS Organ Donor Register
New Book - 'Thankyou for Life' | SADP supports Healthtalkonline.org - organ donation & transplantation

One Man's Story

A personal view 
by Deepak Mahtani

  Family man Deepak hopes for a healthy future

for his two young sons

March 25, 1996

A Flashback after One Year

I HAVE SUFFERED from a hereditary kidney disease, inherited from my maternal side, which leads to a gradual decline of kidney function and eventually, wastes and toxins that the kidney normally expels build up in the body. There is no known cure and the only treatment is dialysis or a kidney transplant. My mother died when I was 12 in 1972 in Hong Kong as the treatment then was not as advanced as it is today. Her two brothers also died from this same disease, one at 62 the other at 28.

The rest of our family have been spared of this disease until 1990 when my elder sister who lives in Bangkok, Thailand discovered that her kidneys were not functioning. This diagnosis was discovered at a fairly late stage and she was immediately put on dialysis. While this stopped the progression of the disease, she needed a transplant. The Thai governments policy is to first provide kidneys for Thai nationals. She went to India in the hope of receiving a transplant. This was not forthcoming and as a result our father, then 71, decided to give one of his kidneys to her. Both have enjoyed good health ever since.

It was her disease which made me consider giving one of my kidneys to her. Having gone for a check up, my GP informed me that I, too, was just in the infant stage of this same disease. While I have known of my condition since 1991 and have been on a restrictive diet ever since, my condition has deteriorated significantly since early 1995. I began to feel increasingly tired but yet found it extremely hard to rest. My skin itched from head to toe. I passed out on a few occasions with no prior warning. My concentration dwindled. I could no longer put in a full days work and would need to sleep every afternoon after lunch for 2 hours. I tried to accept this as best as I could and settled for a less than totally normal life.

I come from a Hindu background but became a follower of Christ in 1986. My faith has helped me tremendously though many situations. While many people prayed for my healing, I came to accept my condition as "a thorn in my flesh" to keep me humble before the Lord as I am a very proud person by nature. I know for a fact that I would not have been able to cope with my illness and its repercussions without the strength of my faith: a belief that God is ever present, does intervene in a person's life and is definitely in charge. Faith must be maintained through thick and thin knowing and believing that all things are being worked out in God's time and in His way.

On March 10, 1995, I went on the kidney transplant waiting list only to be told that I would need to wait for 2 years for a transplant as I have B+ blood type. While this blood type is only found in 6% of the British population, 40-45% of South Asians are B+. I also discovered that South Asians have a 6-8 times higher probability of renal failure. The average waiting list for kidneys in Britain is over 5,000 at any given point in time.

I started peritoneal dialysis on March 14 and 10 days later, on Saturday, March 25, my wife and I were awoken by the telephone at 1am from the hospital advising me that they had a kidney available for me and asking me to come to the hospital as soon as possible. I received my transplant that same morning at 8am. It took the kidney 10 days to start working and those were ten long and tense days.

Against all odds, being 5 days away from death and actually having tasted death, God provided in a most miraculous way. It is a new lease of life that He has given to me and I realise I am living on borrowed time.

Most people start their lives with two healthy kidneys. Kidneys are complex organs with several functions. A kidney contains a million minute filters called nephrons and each nephron is served by a cluster of tiny blood vessels. Normal kidneys cope with a throughput of approximately 800 litres of blood a day and an average urine output of 1.5 to 2 litres per day.

Apart from filtering, kidneys keep vital substances such as protein, amino-acids, water, minerals, and glucose in balance.

Chronic renal failure is not curable and in most cases builds up over a long period of time. Because a person can survive normally with only one kidney and in fact 10% of that one, there is enough renal capacity left for the body to be able to cope even when renal failure has reached a fairly advanced stage. Thus, a person can have a kidney disease without being aware of the fact. Only if he or she has had a blood or urine test does the problem come to light. In the meantime the normal function declines and the wastes and toxins build up in the body.

"As every transplant surgeon and transplant recipient knows, every transplant carries a risk of possible rejection. To counter this risk, anti-rejection drugs must be taken regularly. In the transplant that God gives us, there is no rejection because He accepts us as we are."

Deepak Mahtani works with the South Asian Development Partnership which is actively involved in promoting organ donations and transplants within ethnic minorities. He lives in Carshalton, Surrey.

Overview | Organ Shortages Critical | Information for the South Asian Community | Organs by Race?
Asian Attitudes to Organ Donation | Organ Donation and Transplantation - The Multi-Faith Perspective
Important Facts | Our Problem & Our Responsibility | Organs for Sale | One Man's Story
One Man's Story - Ten Years On | Anup Nahar's Story | Walk in Love and Hope
Living Transplants Reach All Time High | Ethnicity & Renal Failure: Disparity or Diversity
Early Management of Renal Failure: Prevention or Prevarication? | Asian Organ Donors Urgently Needed
Kidney Disease: the silent killer affecting YOU - and how to prevent it | The Body Snatchers
SADP Endorses PM'S Proposal for Presumed Consent for Organ Donation
Celebrities Back New Campaign To Urge Asian Communities To Join The NHS Organ Donor Register
New Book - 'Thankyou for Life' | SADP supports Healthtalkonline.org - organ donation & transplantation
   


 
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