A DAD who was given the gift of life has spoken about the amazing difference it has made to his life.
Peter French (51) was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease, a hereditary illness which causes the kidneys to become enlarged and eventually fail, in 2001.
Four-and-a-half years after being diagnosed his condition worsened and one of his kidneys - which now weighed around nine pounds each - had to be removed.
The dad-of-two started going to Stobhill Hospital for life-saving dialysis three times a week. The draining routine was to last for more than three years.
He was put on the organ transfer waiting list six months after beginning dialysis and three long years later he got the call he had been dreaming of.
Peter, from Bishopbriggs, said: “I got the transplant on May 6, 2010, at the Western Infirmary. Seven weeks before, I had actually been ready to go into the operating theatre, but the doctor wasn’t happy with the kidney and the operation didn’t go ahead.”
Peter says it was an amazing feeling to finally get the transplant.
He explained: “I got the phone call at midnight and went into hospital at 7am. I couldn’t sleep thatl night and called them back just to make sure there was no mistake.”
The operation was a complete success and Peter now only has to go in for a check-up every two months.
He said: “If it wasn’t for the donor I would still be going down to Stobhill three days a week for dialysis.
“It takes five hours to do the dialysis, three times a week, but with all the preparation it’s more like an eight hour shift. It completely takes over your life.”
Peter says he is indebted to the donor, and the donor’s family, who changed his life.
Tragically, while 90 per cent of people agree with organ donation only around 30 per cent have taken action to ensure their wishes are followed in the event of their death.
Peter wants people to realise just what they could offer by signing up to the Organ Donor Register - particularly since other members of his family have been affected by the same illness.
Signing up for the register is easy - just go to www.organdonation.nhs.uk, call 0300 1232323, or text ‘SAVE’ to 84118.
* If you or a member of your family has undergone a life-changing transplant operation the Herald would like to hear your story to help boost the organ donor campaign.
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