My name is Joanna T. I work with Neil’s wife Laura and live in The Netherlands. My family and I have been on an emotional roller-coaster over the past few years. At the end of last year I reached end-stage kidney failure and was struggling to cope with my job and two small children. I did my best to try and avoid a transplant, but ultimately needed one.
Five months ago I received a kidney from my husband Adriaan. I was amazed at how smoothly the operation went for us both. I started to feel better as soon as I woke up in the recovery room. Adriaan was able to go home from hospital in less than a week and he now says he feels completely normal again. I feel very lucky that my husband was able to donate. He is extremely brave. It is incredible that some people are willing to give up a body organ to save someone else. Although my mother and my two sisters also offered to donate, the hospital selected Adriaan as the donor due to practical reasons (my family live in another country), but also because living-non-related transplants have become so successful nowadays. The main difficulty is finding a donor. It takes a lot of courage to go through with something like this.
We are all doing very well now — my husband has given me my life back. This weekend I go sailing with 20 transplant patients from my program and can’t wait to hear everyone’s stories!
Joanna, thank you for sharing your story in our first guest post. In friendship, Neil