Donating a kidney to dad
42-year-old Lowri, from Tumble in Carmarthenshire, watched her father endure two rounds of dialysis while waiting for a kidney transplant, and swore that if he ever needed a transplant again, she wouldn’t let her children watch him suffer, just as she did as a child.
I was only four when Dad had his first transplant, so I don’t really remember a lot. I was young and unaware of the pain he was suffering.
15 years later, in 1998, age 48, Shôn’s kidney began to decline and he was forced to go back onto dialysis.
I was 20 at this point, and I was able to see as an adult the effects dialysis was having on him. He wasn’t his usual, energetic self and seeing him deteriorate was difficult.
Luckily, in 2000, after 2 years on the transplant list, Shôn received the call that he was waiting for, and he received his second kidney transplant.
11 years later in 2011, Shôn’s health once again started deteriorating and the family were delivered the news that he would need another transplant.
As soon as we were told that dad needed a third transplant; I was certain that I wouldn’t let him go through dialysis again and immediately got tested. Luckily, I was a match.
I was driven by that fact that I knew what the end result would be - having my dad around to watch my children grow up. Looking back, saving his life is the most empowering thing I’ve ever done. I feel lucky to have had this opportunity.
Life after the third transplant
Shôn, now 71, is enjoying his retirement to the full.
Thanks to Lowri, I’m no longer restricted; I can now enjoy watching my grandchildren grow up, I can spend time with my daughters and enjoy life each day. It’s impossible to put my appreciation into words – I truly am indebted to her.
I hope our experience encourages more people to speak about organ donation so more lives can be saved.