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How lucky am I?

By Judanne

My name is Judanne and I'm now 57. In 1971 my parents emigrated from the US to Australia and my medical examination results showed I had kidney failure. I was just 17 and the diagnosis of glomerulonephritis meant very little to me.

By the age of 27, I started haemodialysis while living in Brisbane and luckily I was offered a transplant ten months later from an anonymous cadaveric donor. My transplant 'took' immediately and within 2 years I was on an extended holiday in Tasmania at my friend Caroline's home where I stayed with her husband and 3 children, the youngest of whom was Pru. I moved to Tasmania three years later and became very close to Pru and she has always regarded me as an 'honorary' auntie.

In the early 1990's my kidney began to shut down and by 2001 I started using a dialysis machine while living in Victoria and later Tasmania, again staying with Caroline and became very close again to Pru.

Pru was disturbed by the health difficulties I experienced, so two years later she offered to donate me one of her kidneys. While very grateful for this offer, I was also very afraid for Pru because she was only in her early twenties and naive about the inherent dangers of medical procedures. However the process eventually went ahead and in May 2005 we flew to Adelaide to have the procedures done.

Pru and I are both doing very well, she is proud of what she has done and I am extremely grateful to her for being brave and generous enough to give me a life away from the dialysis machines for the last six years.