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Mandy – kidney recipient, QLD

A photo of Mandy
She was told it wasn’t a good match, but it would probably be the best she’d get

Mandy was a picture of health until age 16. She’d barely ever been sick and never been to hospital. But then her senior year at school came to an abrupt end.

She was at boarding school in Toowoomba and her ankles had started to swell up. She didn’t feel sick so didn’t say anything about it.

But as she was walking into the dining hall one night, one of her friends mentioned Mandy’s ankles to the Matron at the door, and from there the ball started rolling.

Mandy was diagnosed with Streptococcal Glomerulonephritis, a kidney disease that develops 10 to 14 days after a skin or throat infection. She had the choice of going to sick bay, going to hospital or going home for two weeks. Like any teenager, Mandy chose to go home. But when she got home her local GP sent her straight to hospital. By this stage her face was swelling and according to her mum, looking like a bullfrog.

Doctors thought Mandy’s kidneys would scar and the progression of the disease would stop, but it didn’t. After two years of watching test results become worse, she ended up on dialysis and the transplant waiting list.

After two years of home dialysis, Mandy got “the call” on a Sunday afternoon. She was told it wasn’t a good match but it would probably be the best she’d get.

“Thank goodness for my lovely donor family.”

Four years post-transplant, Mandy gave birth to twin boys (the 11th recipient in Queensland to have children and the first to have twins). In between transplantation and giving birth, she had a hip replacement due to unfortunate side-effects of the medication she has to take.

Mandy is very thankful for the life her donor gave her and the generations that have come from that, with her two sons and five grandchildren.

Kathy Heagney
Graphic of native plants

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