AFTER years of being on dialysis, a mum has thanked her anonymous donor for giving her the chance to see her daughter grow up.
At the age of just 45, Michele Fallance was told that she required a kidney transplant after living with hereditary Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) – which causes a number of fluid filled cysts to grow in the kidneys and leads to organ failure - and spent five years on dialysis waiting for an operation.
She said: ‘When you’re on dialysis you don’t have the energy. You’re in limbo when waiting for a transplant. You’re not unwell, but you’re not healthy.’
The treatment, at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, took a toll on Michele, her husband John and their 12-year-old daughter Elizabeth, all from Bursledon.
Michele said: ‘Elizabeth was around seven when I first started dialysing. She can only remember me on the machine.’
In July 2018 she was called in for the operation but was unable to have the transplant due to a hernia.
She said: ‘I couldn’t see an end, the goal posts were always moving.
‘I ended up on anti-depressants and I had times when I just thought I’m never going to get a transplant.’
But on June 5 this year she got the call from QA hospital that she had a transplant donor.
Michele said: ‘The hardest part for me has been the waiting so I was really nervous when I got the call.
‘It’s a whirlwind; you can’t quite believe it’s happening when you’ve waited so long.
‘The treatment, aftercare and staff at QA have been fantastic.’
Now as part of Organ Donation Week Michele wanted to thank her donor and encourage others to join the register.
She said: ‘When you’re a parent, you want to see your daughter get married and have children.
‘If people were more aware about how much it does affect someone’s life, and how much the donations are appreciated, it will help. I am so grateful to my donor.’
She added: ‘I’ve told Elizabeth about how I’ve been given this amazing gift, and we’ve talked about organ donation and how it is her choice to consider in the future.’
For information visit organdonation.nhs.uk/