“His mega-watt smile could power the Auckland grid” was how Herald columnist Wynne Gray so eloquently described this morning Joeli Vidiri after his kidney transplant. In the meantime across the Tasman my long term colleague and head of Nephrology at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, Prof Zoltan Endre, is celebrating 50 years of the transplant unit. There is a lovely story of a smiling Carolyn Hochkins who has survived 42 years with a kidney transplant. Invaluable!
Transplants have become “normal” and rarely make the news unless it is of a famous face or a celebration such as in Australia this week. They are far from “normal” for the recipients. They are life changing – not simply a change from being tied to a dialysis machine for many hours a week, but better all round health. The machine is merely supportive and it doesn’t manage to do everything a kidney can do.
Congratulations Joeli, Congratulations Carolyn, Congratulations all you donors and donor families, Congratulations all you dedicated nephrologists and surgeons that have made the kidney transplant a routine life changer.