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Chronic kidney disease

Diabetes left Kalwant in need of a new kidney and pancreas. After only a month on the transplant list, she was lucky enough to be given a new lease of life.

Diabetes left Kalwant in need of a new kidney and pancreas. She was lucky and, after a month on the transplant list, was given a new lease of life.

"I became diabetic at the age of 18 and, although I knew there could be complications in 20 to 25 years, it didn't mean much to me at that age.

"When I began to put on weight, I thought it was connected to my thyroid, which had given me trouble since I'd had part of it removed at the age of 16. I thought my thyroid drugs needed adjusting.

"Then I started feeling breathless and very lethargic, and my feet and body started to retain water. My GP told me my kidney function was starting to deteriorate because of my diabetes.

"A few years later, it had become so bad that I had to start dialysis. I had to go to the hospital three times a week, usually for more than five hours. My health worsened. I could hardly walk and I was being sick all the time. I had to rest a lot.

"I wasn't able to spend enough time with my daughters, and I wasn't well enough to have a transplant. This was the hardest time for me. It was only my family and my strong Sikh faith that kept me going.

"Gradually, my health began to settle down and I was feeling better. After vigorous tests, I was put on the transplant list for a kidney and a pancreas.

"To my surprise, I didn't have to wait long. At 10.45pm on June 1, I got a call from Liverpool to say they had organs for me. I was having tests at the hospital by 7am the next morning and, a few hours later, had the operation.

"The transplant completely changed my life. We became a family again, and I have made the most of every single day. I feel I have been given the gift of a new life."


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