Patient Daniel Alexander and his partner Elaine are now contemplating a major celebration – a wedding, her 50th birthday and marking the successful transplant of his new kidney.
When the 47-year-old salesman from Darwin got a call at 4am to tell him he had a match, he quickly flew to Adelaide and became the 3000th person to receive a kidney transplant in SA.
His new kidney is a one-in-a-million match and Daniel is eternally grateful for the donor and donor’s family. Without them, he says his life would be very different.
He is now recovering well and is looking forward to embracing his new normal life – including work and planning a wedding that had been on-hold – following 12 months on life-saving dialysis.
CALHN has patients from the Northern Territory, Broken Hill and some parts of Western Victoria, and while transplant occur in SA, patients are supported by clinical teams close to home including transplant assessment staff based throughout the NT.
The Central and Northern Adelaide Renal Transplant Service is the oldest program in the country and has been transforming the lives of patients since the first successful kidney transplant in Australia on February 21, 1965.
There have been many advancements and achievements since then including the unit performing Australia’s first keyhole surgery kidney donation in 1997, and in 2005 the first desensitisation kidney transplant, where the patient’s immune system is modified to allow an incompatible transplant to occur.
Reaching 3000 transplants is a major achievement for the entire team; from nurses, surgeons, dialysis teams and kidney care staff.
As well as the life-changing impact for patients, kidney transplants are also a major cost and resource savings to the health system. After the first year, each kidney saves between $60-$100,000 per year by helping patients avoid dialysis and other interventions.
To learn more about organ donation and to register, visit https://donatelife.gov.au/.
Pictured is Daniel Alexander, the 3000th kidney transplant recipient, with Director of Transplant Medicine Prof Toby Coates.