Urgent Help needed for a Kidney Patient!

Having just donated a kidney, and being fairly aware of how hard the entire process is to get to the actual surgery date. when i read this in the paper today i really felt for the guy.

Hes given up years of his life with family whom he hasn’t seen in years because Tonga doesnt have the facilities to deal with it. The family pays over $2000 a week for just medication and dialysis and now has none left over for the kidney transplant which is booked for June!

Heres the herald article from http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10577753


A Tongan overstayer counting the days until a life-changing operation in New Zealand is looking unlikely to meet the $110,000 fee needed to make it happen.

Sosefo Lakalaka has been here for the past three years paying for dialysis treatment – both his kidneys are failing and Tonga does not have any facilities to treat his condition.

After years of paying for his medical needs, his family have nothing left over for a transplant operation scheduled for June 20 in Auckland.

But since late last month Mr Lakalaka’s supporters have been fundraising to make sure the operation goes ahead.

A radiothon in Tonga has raised 30,000 pa’anga ($20,256) and an earlier Herald appeal raised $9774.14.

Family advocate Ulualo Pouhila said that although the family were still hoping New Zealanders would continue to donate, they were also trying to apply for a bank loan to make up the difference.

“The money that has come through has been amazing. But their only hope is the loan, it’s a big struggle for them.”

Mr Lakalaka has not seen his wife or five children since he has been in the country, but a brother has moved here to help financially support his sick sibling.

Mr Pouhila said the extended family were exhausted by continual fundraising efforts over the three years which had gone towards paying for dialysis, which had cost up to $2559 a week.

If the operation costs were not met in time, Mr Lakalaka would continue to visit the dialysis clinic twice weekly, but it was an option which served nobody’s interests, Mr Pouhila said.

“It’s a hell of a job.

“This is an opportunity to send him home.”

Donations to assist can be made through the ANZ bank account:
Sosefo Lakalaka and Family
01 0186 0379433 00

Please Forward this link to all your friends

Update on the kidney donation (3 weeks)

Well the tummy swelling is down heaps and im back to normal in that respect, though im still bothered by pain under the left ribs, and im unable to lie on my back or left side for any kind of period. Its just uncomfortable.

I went to see my Dr about this, and being the paranoid guy that he was suggested blood clots, and sent me for a slew of blood tests. I got a bit paranoid about this after he called me back and i did more blood tests and had more appointments.

It was only painful if i had been leaning forward, beathing deeply, laughing etc or doing things that compressed the internals on left hand side. So yesterdays Dr appt he sent me off to the hospital.

I spent the better part of the day in the A&E at the hospital trying to avoid people with masks over their face, coughing, sneezing, looking like they were dieing. I could see them looking at me in that ‘What are you doing here? you dont look sick!’ type of way. Dispite apparently having blood clots I actually felt fine and didn’t honestly think I had them.

I have noticed that I seem to get some sort of priority treatment since donating the kidney, and I’m unsure if this is related to it or not. Whilst in the room of 4 people recovering, if others pressed the buzzer they often got ignored or it took forever to get service. If i pressed mine i had somebody friendly there really quickly! I noticed this yesterday at the Hospital also, i had to wait for 4 hours still, but once I was seen it was pretty quick, and they were most helpful.

The Dr at the hospital says that my internals are just still swollen and trying to heal. The pain is from them chafing against each other whilst healing (much like the Ulcer in your mouth you keep biting which stops it healing). So Im now taking a bunch of Anti-inflamatories which appear to be helping that out. Will see how it goes.

My brother is doing ok with the new kidney, hes happy to be able to eat cheese, raisens, and peanut butter amoung other things. His fav thing appears to be being able to go to bed without spending an hour setting up machinery and disinfecting things. He has to get up at 6am every morning to take medication (on the dot!), then be at the hospital 8am for blood tests, then hangs about for the Drs appointments till 10-11am. He does this every single day of the week so they can monitor for rejection etc. This means he cant really work or travel anywhere, So we are heading up to Auckland this weekend to catch up with them and see how hes doing.

Hopefully we wont catch anything before doing so, he cant be around anyone with any kind of illness whilst having no immunity (anti-rejection drugs).

Oh and I entered and was short listed for a competition for a PVR thing at http://www.ben.geek.nz/win-and-the-nominees-are/ – so if you are feeling nice towards me please go vote for number 3 so i have some Freeview to watch whilst getting better 🙂

Kidney donation – a summary

ok bit more of an update.
went into hospital tuesday, surgery weds morning. I was up and walking thursday, and home friday (to the hotel). I have pain still, in the upper stomach area where they cut.
I would have thought they would cut down lower but i have a 3″ cut from bottom of rib cage to belly button area, plus 2 holes where laproscopic stuff went in on the left side.
Im healing ok, but i dont like the nasty painkillers that make me feel woosy so im stickin to mild ones which means im in a bit of pain still – mostly at night when they run out .
To do the surgery they pumped my stomach full of air so they could manuver, this means i have lots of air in my tummy which moves about and is uncomfy atm. The worst side affect so far of the surgery is that the cut is near my actual stomach inside my tummy so swelling prevents me from eating more than a couple mouthfuls of food at a time.

So weds i ate 0 calories, thrsday i had half cup cornflakes for breaky with milk, lunch was a few pieces of fruit, dinner was couple pieces of brocoli etc.
Breakfast friday was 1 small pottle of yogurt (and even that made me so full i felt i was gonna burst), lunch was a couple slices of fruit again, dinner was half cup of soup and 1 slice of soup.
great weight loss diet, but if i have an empty stomach i feel all the wind when i down. Ive resorted to the cheese slices twice to settle the tummy pain. I guess its like a gastric balloon somewhat, only more uncomfortable.
Got to drink heaps too, which is fine.

My brother ws up and walking yesterday, he will be out of hosp on monday or tuesday. Dr said he had never seen a couple heal so quick and be up and about so much.
Ironicly my mother started a thread on a dating website forum, and somebody asked me if it was me, because they dont do that many transplants in nz. She had said that I was doing well and my brother was doing crappy. My friends who had seen me on twitter had said ‘what are you talking about they are both doing excellently!’, then i posted and agreed (from my hospital bed no less lol).
It was amusing to say the least .

oh yeah, funny things in hospital

When coming out of theatre i was stoned on drugs and tried making a joke. I said “So you got the appendix out ok?’ horrified look on the faces was most amusing, but i had to let them know ‘no you were definatly supposed to take the kidney its ok..’

Old man in opposite bed who thought he was being stoic by not taking pain relief and moaned and groaned and grunted all night long, when he wasnt doing that he was snoring so bad it sounded like he was cutting down a forest (sawing logs).
He was fairly large man and laid on bed with no blankets and feet spread wide so i got a great view up his hospital gown of all his family jewels (which i didnt want to see!). He peed all over the floor in the toilet, burped galore, and was generally as obnoxious as possible.

Luckily he was removed after 24 hours and i got the stoner lady who talked to herself all night. Her phone would ring and she would answer it ‘hello? …… hello?……hello?……hello?….” this would go on for 5 mins.

Another lady in the room was this little old lady who never told the doctors anything. So shes in pain and doesnt tell doctors, but as soon as her grown kids came in she moaned about how much pain she was in, so the docs would hear and come and give her medication, then the medication would make her sick. So i got to her her puking repeatedly, and not telling the Dr again just waiting for her kids to arrive so she could moan.
Nothing makes you feel healthy like waking up at 4:30am hearing somebody puking then demanding  to call her kids so they could come in and go mad at doctors for not reading her mind.

the other person in our room was a nice quiet little asian lady who had blood transfusions and went to the loo every 5 minutes. She was quiet and never said anything.

I presume the hospital food was ok, i was unable to eat any because of the stomach swelling. 1 banana completely filled me up. 1 pottle of yoghurt etc.
They did have a really nice fish pie, i soo wanted to eat it but could only manage 1 tablespoon of it which made me feel totally full