'Your Kidneys have failed' that was how bluntly the doctor stated his diagnosis
Some of the specialist doctors who were invited to consult on his case had been suggesting the outcome but he steadfastly rejected it
They must be making a mistake
There must be some other explanation
He had assumed all he had was fever because he was vomiting and couldn't hold down his food. At the first hospital he went to, he was treated for Typhoid but his condition only worsened!
He found himself unable to urinate!
That was when he was referred to the general hospital.
The doctors recommended dialysis in the short term and Kidney Transplant as a permanent solution.
He took in the information slowly.
By implication he will have to cough out N30k twice a week for dialysis in order to live
He was a contract staff with a bank, how can he afford it?
He had his dialysis for the first week and promptly went back to work.
He was sure unless by the sheer hand of God he would most probably die of the Kidney Failure.
He needed a matching kidney, N 10 million for the Kidney transplant, Travel documents for the operation in India.
When he got to work he narrated his ordeal to his branch manager.
She was stirred in her spirit to help him.
She took up his case with the management of the bank.
As a contract staff, his HMO rating was basic and he didn't have the healthcare coverage for such a complex illness
At the management meeting it was decided that a bank account should be opened to help him raise money.
This was done immediately.
Members of staff were informed of his condition and asked to voluntarily contribute something.
The next problem was finding a matching Kidney donor.
Though a genetic link between a kidney donor and a recipient was not a requirement, getting a stranger to donate a kidney without asking for an arm and a leg as payment was virtually impossible. He simply could not afford to pay a kidney donor. It would have to be a free gift!
The doctors tested all his willing siblings but couldn't find a match. His last hope was his younger brother who was writing examinations in the university. A few weeks later, his younger brother arrived! The tests were carried out and he was found to be a perfect match!
I was seating beside his hospital bed when the doctors came in with the news. They said i was a perfect match for him.
He looked at me.
He didn't say a word.
He just burst into tears.
I felt goose pimples all over me!
It was my 'Let this cup pass over me' moment.
Of course I didn't want my brother to die.
But I also didn't want to lose a kidney.
What if i die in the process?
In the end I had to ask myself.
Would I be able to live with myself if my brother died knowing i could have at least tried to save his life?
I realized i wouldn't.
I went to school and wrote a letter to defer my admission for a semester.
By this time the funds had been raised by the bank and the general public.
Our travel documents were processed
Seven months after he was diagnosed we left for India.
Himself, Myself and our older brother!
When we got to India they did some more tests
Then a doctor took me to a room and asked me questions
Did I understand the implication of my decision?
Did I understand the risk involved?
Was I sure I wanted to go through with it?
I signed their documents
We had gone way past that!
The next day I was prepared and taken into the theater
When i woke up hours later my brother was the first name on my lips
Our older brother told me he was still in surgery
i tried to sit up and the pain hit me
It was then I remembered I had also been under the knife
I slept off
When I woke up our older brother came to me
His face was lit up with joy
"Your brother is in the bathroom, he is urinating by himself''
That was the happiest moment of my life
I cried and cried
My older brother cried too
My brother came into the room
He saw us crying
He cried too
After several days we were discharged
We returned home from India
The bank held a dinner in our honour
We all shared our story
The milk of human kindness flowed freely for my brother and the family
Our mother who had sold all her belongings to support the cause cried for joy
God remained faithful
I went back to school and wrote my final examinations
I came out with a first class degree
My brother got married a year later and has lived in good health ever since
Our story was aired on News line and many magazines
We are grateful to God and Humanity
Chronic Kidney disease (CKD) is a major public health problems. Prevent CKD by:
Control your blood sugar if you have diabetes
Keep a healthy blood pressure
Follow a low-salt, low-fat diet
Exercise at least 30 minutes daily
Keep a healthy weight
Do not smoke