I have always been a very active person with oodles of energy. However, during 2009/2010 things began to change. I was always tired and just didn’t feel right. This lead me to visit the doctor on several occasions to be told each time that I had a virus. After a while I decided it must just be me getting older!!
During August 2010 I was vomiting regularly and my family asked me to visit the GP again. This time I went with the resolve that they will perform some tests. The doctor advised again that he thought I had a virus but did some blood tests just in case.
That evening, after a call from the out of hours doctors, I was admitted to the medical admissions unit with kidney failure and then into the high dependency unit. I had a blood pressure of 250/150 and a kidney function of 6%
The next few weeks were a period of immense change and an emotional roller coaster. The thing which effected me the most was the selfless and most generous offers I had from friends and family to be tested to see if they would be a match for a living donor transplant.
My mum was eventually tested and found to be the best match. After numerous tests to ensure that donating a kidney to me would not be detrimental to her health, she had the go ahead. From the moment of diagnoses to now, the only thing that has brought a tear to my eye is my mum’s sacrifice, she is truly inspirational.
During this time my kidney function fell to 4% and I commenced peritoneal dialysis to ensure I was well enough for the transplant when the time came.
I was fortunate enough to get the date for the transplant very quickly and on the 11th January 2011 mum and I were at Derriford Hospital for the operation. The operation was a great success. Mum was discharged after 4 days and I was after 10 days.
Now my wonderful mum is as well as ever suffering from no implications from donating a kidney to me and my life is wonderful. I am back to the person I was five years ago with energy to spare. Mum has genuinely given me the gift of life, as I have my original sparkle back and I am living life to the full once again.
I have entered the transplant games for the first time this year and I’m swimming before work at least three times a week in preparation. We are all going to Bolton in August to represent Derriford. Each person in the team has a different story to tell of their journey and each of us are passionate about organ donation and the difference it can make to people lives.
If you are not signed up to the organ register, please think about the life your gift would be improving, but also, please ensure you discuss your wishes with your loved ones.
If you would like to read more about my journey, please take a look at my blog: http://tracyanncarroll.blogspot.co.uk
Picture from Helston Flora Day this year shows clearly what a picture of health I am