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This month of August 2015 Prince Henry Hospital, Little Bay, NSW celebrates the 50 anniversary since the first kidney transplant was done in this hospitall, only the second successful kidney transplant in Australia.
In this ocassion, SBS broadcaster Amanda Tzillas, shares her story as a kidney donor:
Yvette is just about to celebrate her 6th year post kidney transplant on Tuesday 11 of August. Coming closer to the date of her transplant I can't help having an immense need to reflect upon that dark period of our life back in 2009 ….when the whole world seemed to have stopped right in front of our very own eyes ...thinking of the days leading to the surgery that consumed every minute of every hour of every day, worrying about her survival … dialysis machine or a kidney transplant!
Being 19 , she was busy living life , studying , working, falling in love! Yvette just couldn't imagine to be confined next to the dialysis machine neither she want to accept that this is what will keep her alive!! Reality sunk in when her energy kept dropping and all she could do was to sleep more than usual, be off her food and feeling weaker and weaker as kidney disease was progressing. Second year student at the Sydney college of the Arts and her own life was painted with the colour black!
Doctors kept a close eye on Yvette for a year and constantly monitored her renal function. While her renal physicians were trying to discuss dialysis the process of me becoming a donor began!
It took nearly a year of medical check ups appointments, giving blood tests, ensuring that we were compatible and getting healthy and fit so we could both cope with the surgery but it took me no time to decide of becoming her donor!
As overwhelming as it was to consume as much information as possible at the time and to come to terms with the risks involved I never lost faith that somehow we will both come out good from it.
It is amazing how fear turns into all this positive energy and as time drew closer to the date of the transplant I felt better than ever and ready to embrace the challenges ahead of us.
My beautiful daughter woke up from her operation and asked to see me as soon as they could wheel her around to my ward and when she saw me I remember hearing her saying: “ Thanks mum!! Are you ok? I love you”!!
I didn't expect to be thanked for anything. When your child's life is on the line you do put yours in its place any time and with great ease indeed! Any parent would have agreed with me on this! My happiness of hearing her voice after her 12 hour long surgery cannot be described let alone knowing that the operation went well and soon she would get back to living life again!
As a living donor myself recovering from the operation it was rather easy. It took only a few days in hospital and a few weeks to be able to get back to normal!.I’m just a very ordinary person…living the miracle of life in my very own personal way! I am grateful to the the RPA transplant unit, the very dedicated surgeons, the doctor's and nurses who really did their very best!!
Yvette is celebrating her birthday twice a year and I am sure you know which one she really treasures!
Yvette Tziallas is an artist and you can see some of her work here: