They’re crushing my lungs: man with kidneys weighing 60kg needs major life-saving surgery

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Warren Higgs developed the polycystic kidney disease at the age of 35. (PHOTO: YouTube/Universal Information & Entertainment TV)
Warren Higgs developed the polycystic kidney disease at the age of 35. (PHOTO: YouTube/Universal Information & Entertainment TV)

This once fit and healthy man is now wheelchair-bound and unable to move because of his giant kidneys.

Warren Higgs (54) from Windsor, England, has polycystic kidney disease (PKD) – an inherited disorder in which clusters of cysts develop within the kidneys, causing them to balloon and lose function over time.

As a result of his condition, his kidneys have grown to an estimated 30 to 40kg each and are squashing his lungs, thus preventing him from breathing properly.

“Mine are extreme. They just grow continuously,” Warren tells the BBC. “Considering your kidneys are meant to be the size of a clenched fist, mine are massive.

“They're crushing my lungs, crushing my stomach. I’ve had a scan and they're crushing my heart now.

“It's horrible because I can't move. I can't breathe. You just can’t do anything.”

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Warren developed the crippling condition at the age of 35 after suffering an aneurysm which led to him having a stroke. It then triggered his kidneys to start growing.

He says one of his surgeons told him his kidneys were far larger than that of the current world record holder – a man from India who had a 7,4kg kidney removed.

But it’s a record Warren would rather not hold.

“The condition slowly robs you of your life,” he says. “It's not really a record you want to live with, believe me, it's horrible. PKD has literally taken away my whole life.”

Warren
Before falling ill, Warren kept fit by taking part in triathlons. (PHOTO: Facebook)

In a bid to live a better life, Warren, who previously took part in triathlons, will be having surgery on 12 July, to remove both of his kidneys.

“It's a big operation," Warren tells CNN. “It’s really risky.”

Once his operation is done, Warren will have to remain on dialysis for the rest of his life and will have to get back in shape to stay healthy.

"I want to get back to having some kind of life," he says.

READ MORE | A donor is their only hope: Bloemfontein brothers with chronic kidney failure are in desperate need of a transplant

A local taxi firm and the charity Driven Forward have started a GoFundMe Page to raise funds for his recuperation after the operation and for a modified electric tricycle, which help him get back in shape.

“Warren is always finding ways to help others in the community, and he is always putting others before himself,” the page says.

The father of one will be donating one of his kidneys to medical research.

“I would like to bring them home but apparently that's not something you're allowed to do,” he says. “I want them to go on my fireplace.”

Sources: BBC, CNN, Mirror News

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