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My kidney transplant story

By Margaret

Born in the old Alice Springs Hospital in 1959, I was a small, early baby. I suffered from polio and as a result, spent a long time in the old Hospital. The doctors told my mother that I might not survive.

I grew up in Ernabella, and later as a young woman I moved to Amata (SA) and was teaching children at pre-school there. I had two wonderful children of my own, Jocelyn and Kirsty.

One day I took Kirsty for a holiday to Warburton to see Jocelyn and other family. While I was there, I got really sick, had lots of fluid in my body, was short of breath and couldn't walk. The doctor sent me to Kalgoorlie Hospital, then on to Perth Hospital via the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

I knew I had kidney problems because I had diabetes for years but now had complete kidney failure. I started haemodialysis in Perth and later learnt to set up my own dialysis machine, to put in my own needles for dialysis.

The doctor was really nice but it was a bit scary being in Perth and away from everyone I knew.

I decided to move to Adelaide. My youngest daughter was still a student then, she moved to Adelaide to be with me and to complete her year twelve studies.

I went through all the tests to get onto the kidney transplant waiting list, being on dialysis there for many years. While on dialysis at Wayville, a nurse told me there was a transplant kidney for me. I went straight to Queen Elizabeth Hospital after dialysis and had the transplant operation the next morning.

My transplanted kidney worked straightaway and I did not need to have dialysis again! I am very grateful for my transplant.

I think it's a good thing to donate organs.