Ruby: I have done things I’d never considered whilst on dialysis

ruby blowing a kiss at an aeroplane

Ruby was born with reflux of the kidneys which over time developed into renal failure. She had her first dialysis session on her 10th birthday in 2002.

I was on peritoneal dialysis for six years before I contracted a fungal infection called peritonitis which meant I had to switch to hemodialysis at the age of 16.

The day I got the call that changed my life was when I was 19 years old and in college. I was expecting a call from the hospital to confirm a date for my fistula operation which I was dreading. Instead I was told I was a match. I could not believe it.

The donor was young, a perfect match and alive. Not only that, the donor was donating to me even though he did not know me!

I had been told for a long time that I would never receive a call like this because I had too many antibodies. It wasn’t until I was being put asleep on the operating table six weeks later that I cried with happiness . I couldn’t bring myself to believe I could be that lucky.

My life since receiving my kidney has been amazing, I have done things I had never considered doing whilst on dialysis. I was never allowed to plan for the future before my transplant, always living to get through the next dialysis session.

My donor gave me a life to live for and I live every day to the fullest! In the 10 years since receiving my kidney, I have graduated from university, traveled and explored the world, received my black belt in jiu-jitsu, participated in a pageant, bought a house and got engaged. These may be things most people do in life but for a child on dialysis, waiting for a kidney, most of these things are just hopes and dreams.

The ten years of health I have had mean the world to me, the memories I have been able to make because of my donor are priceless and I count my lucky stars every day that I get to do all of these wonderful things because of him.

I wrote to my donor a week after my surgery and started my letter with the definition of a hero, because that is what he will always be to me.