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How a renal transplant transformed my life - Adrian's story

adrian north 2For forty-five year old Adrian North from Reddish, Stockport, life will never be the same again.  He has finally shaken off the shackles of diabetes, thanks to undergoing a life-transforming combined kidney and pancreas transplant at Manchester Royal Infirmary in May which has enabled him to resume a normal life

Adrian had battled diabetes since the age of nine and was insulin dependent for 35 years before he had an insulin pump fitted.  His condition meant he had to check his blood sugar levels four times a day and constantly keep a tight watch on his diet.

Although he learned to cope well with his diabetes over the years, Adrian started to get kidney trouble three years ago as a result and was given five years to live.  A transplant was the only option and he was put on the waiting list.

At first, his seventy-four year old father was going to donate a kidney but the MRI team advised Adrian that a double organ transplant would be more beneficial for his condition.  He waited 12 months before the organs became available, much less than the usual wait for a kidney transplant alone which can be up to five years.

After his surgery which lasted seven hours, Adrian stayed in hospital for a month under the watchful eye of the team on ward 9, followed by fortnightly then monthly outpatient check-ups once he was discharged.

"Everything at the MRI worked like clockwork - from my pre-operative care to the surgery itself, then the aftercare in intensive care, the high dependency unit and on the ward.  The team do so many transplants, they've got it off to a fine art."

Now Adrian is back at home in Reddish with wife Alison and his two daughters, six year old Ella and three year old Abbie.  He's hoping to return to work soon as a graphic designer at Excel Publishing in Manchester.  Adrian is a keen cyclist and travels by bike to the MRI for his outpatient appointments and plans to cycle into work once he's fit to return.

"The transplant has made such a big difference to my life, not only for me personally but for all of us as a family,"  said Adrian.  "I've much more energy - before the transplant, I was tired all the time.

"I'm no longer diabetic and can eat a normal diet although I have to watch my potassium levels so no bananas!  And although I still have to take medication and keep an eye on my health, it's nowhere near where I was before.

"I'm so thankful to the family of the donor for this new lease of life.  By joining the organ donation register, you too can change and save someone's life."