Dad wins race to donate kidney

2017-11-07 06:00
Amina and Abdullah Parker.

Amina and Abdullah Parker.

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The lives of the Parker family will transform today.

Amina Parker will receive a new kidney after battling renal failure since the beginning of the year.

After being diagnosed with stage five renal failure in January, Amina and her family underwent compatibility tests to see who could donate a kidney to her.

At first, it was expected that Amina would have to wait for a kidney from the state donor list. Instead she found a match in her father, Abdullah Parker, but there was a catch.

“I was running for Itheko running club and I told the people that I went for blood tests and the tests were mixed, because they told me that I had to lose 23kg. In February I told my club what the problem was in order for me to become a donor – to lose the weight in a certain time. By September I had dropped my 23kg. I was reassessed while doing the other tests in the meantime. 

“At the beginning of September I saw the surgeon who told me that my weight was right,” says Abdullah.

He says that although it had been a challenge, once he heard the surgeon’s news, the donation process became a formality for him.

“With all the tests going, it got really bad [to lose the weight], but what also motivated me to do well was the running club. Fatima van der Rheede was my coach and really motivated me. The whole club stood behind me and from then onwards I reached my goal,” adds Parker.

He says when he heard the news of his daughter’s condition, he felt helpless. But he rallied to come up with a solution.

“This child of 23, who had not been sick throughout her life, coming home just feeling tired. We told her to see the physician and then referred her to another doctor where they told her that she had stage five renal failure. 

“It was the most devastating moment of my life. I did not know what to do or where to go. It was a very heartsore moment in my life, but we all got tested and I was the person who was the closest match to her.”

Amina, who has been documenting her journey in a blog on her Facebook profile, said yesterday she was looking forward to life after the transplant.

“I’m feeling quite nervous for tomorrow [Tuesday] but excited for what the future has planned for me. I am excited to go back and study and to travel once I have my energy back. The past year has been a roller coaster – physically and emotionally – but my family has always been there for me and has made the journey so much easier. I am so grateful to my father and I am so proud of his weight loss journey,” she said.

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