A visit to a specialist confirmed the diagnosis and the couple were confronted with the news that John would soon require regular dialysis treatment. The specialist also raised the possibility of a kidney transplant and Maria jumped at the chance asking what was involved and if she could donate a kidney.
The couple’s sons also offered to donate but Maria was adamant that if she was a match then she should do it.
Maria Rosello said it was so hard watching someone you love suffering and in pain and knowing there was something she could do to help.
"Really it was a gift not just for my husband but for my whole family. I wanted John to be healthy again because that’s what makes life better for us all. I have my husband back, the kids have their dad and the grandkids have a granddad who has the energy to play with them."
The donor exchange took place at Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) in May 2013 and Maria and John are back to living their life pre-diagnosis. John is back working normally, and the couple have returned to enjoying travelling again.
"We feel lucky that my kidney was a match for John and I am grateful to all the doctors and staff at RNSH who helped make the whole thing possible," Maria said.
Dr Stella McGinn, Renal Transplant Physician at RNSH, said Maria and John’s story was not uncommon.
"In February this year more than 1,000 people were on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. Living donors are becoming common with donors, often like Maria, wishing to give to a loved one," Dr McGinn said.
Royal North Shore Hospital clinicians have substantial expertise in the areas of renal health, and especially in dialysis and transplantation.
Dr McGinn stressed the process for live donors was well developed with prospective donors having to undergo a series of tests to assess their suitability for the procedure.
"Unfortunately the rates of kidney disease are increasing. Long transplant waiting lists mean live donors will become important in ensuring patients with chronic kidney disease return to good health," said Dr McGinn. 2
May 22 to 28 is Kidney Health Week, a week dedicated to raising awareness of the condition. Early detection and effective management can limit the progression of the disease by as much as 50 per cent.
Anyone with risk factors should visit their GP for a simple kidney health check-up. It involves a simple blood test, urine test and blood pressure check.
For more information about kidney health visit www.kidney.org.au
Media inquiries: Melissa Manning 9463 1722
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