A live kidney donor
Annabel Ferriman gave one of her kidneys to a friend
Last year I gave one of my kidneys to an old friend, Ray, who was months away from needing dialysis because of polycystic kidney disease. The operation was a success. Ray is doing well and is back at work, and I feel completely healthy and have had no adverse effects.
It was a positive experience for both of us, but some aspects of the patient journey, in particular the endless tests leading up to the transplant, were so protracted that I was left seething with rage. I am recounting the tale partly to encourage other people to consider kidney donation, but also in the hope that hospitals might make the path for donors a little easier.
I first offered my kidney to Ray at a party, after I had had a few drinks and was feeling expansive. Ray and his wife, Denise, had been telling me about Ray's kidney problems.