Organ donation day: the testimony of Thierry saved by his sister

This Wednesday, June 22nd marks the National Day of Reflection on Organ Donation and Transplantation, including a conference at the CHPF on the acceptance of organ donation in Polynesia. The testimony of Thierry, who has had two transplants, including one thanks to his sister Christine, is an example of the benefits of a kidney transplant. Both are also reminders of the high quality of care here in Tahiti, where patients can be transplanted without having to stay in mainland France for many months.

He received a kidney from a deceased donor for the first time in France, which enabled him to live normally for 18 years. The transplanted organ showed signs of weakness, another operation was necessary and Thierry once again found himself on a waiting list. But it was his sister Christine who volunteered. The tests showed that the brother and sister were compatible, which is not necessarily the case. “I was tired of seeing him sick (…). I spoke to my husband and kids about it, they said go ahead. »

“It will be done on the same day in two different blocks with two different teamsShe says. I got out first and Thierry got out afterwards. » A year later, living with just one kidney is no problem for him: “Nothing has changed, you have to eat healthily, exercise and above all drink a lot of water. »

On this national holiday, Thierry and Christine would like to get in touch with those who may still be reluctant to have a kidney transplant, but who are sentenced to dialysis, which is very restrictive and very expensive for the healthcare system.

Thierry never found out what caused his kidneys to atrophy. But he calls the warning signs “fatigue, like repeated gastrointestinal disorders, some blood in the urine” that led to the diagnosis at the age of 30: “We can’t wait, tell ourselves it’s nothing”. He was living on dialysis for 7 years prior to his surgeries and stresses that the transplants allowed him to return to a normal life and maintain a fairly physical professional activity as he and his sister rent gondolas. The only restrictions today for Thierry, a monthly blood test, and avoiding too much sun exposure because the anti-rejection drugs increase photosensitivity.

What he remembers from his transplant experience is the quality of care in Tahiti, where kidney transplants have been possible since 2013. “Here in Tahiti it’s as good as in France, says Thierry. Maybe even better because we are at home and don’t have to go to France. Here in nephrology they take a lot of care, I say there is nothing better.”.

Remember that the CHPF is organizing a free conference on the acceptance of organ donation in Polynesia tomorrow, Wednesday 22 June, from 8:15 to 10:30 in its auditorium, where an anthropologist will speak.

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