“My Name is Ethan Wynn, a kidney patient at St George's Hospital. I had my kidney transplant on the 11th December 2022, so just over a year ago now. Below are a few memories I thought I'd share. 


Without doubt dialysis brings a multitude of physical and emotional feelings throughout the journey. I consider myself very fortunate to only experience dialysis for a year and six days before getting ‘the phone call’ letting me know a kidney is available for a kidney transplant. 


Flashback to when it all began, I remember the day of receiving a phone call whilst at work, I was asked to attend A&E as soon as possible due to some abnormal test results from a routine kidney function blood test.

My kidney function at this stage was running at a function of 5 eGFR. I was told later that day I’d be staying in and having a peritoneal dialysis catheter tube inserted the following day to start the process of dialysis. The day of this procedure, I remember it being in a very small, cold room on the ward. I was awake and aware of everything going on as it was done via local anaesthetic, the doctor was very good and explained every step of the procedure and the likely feelings I’d notice. It was indeed very weird.


The PD training was very overwhelming as there was a lot of information to take in. The setting up of the machine, step by step, the hygiene routine, which coloured bags to use, warning signs to look and listen out for. I was the only one in my group that took part alone everyone else had a relative or partner there with them. The team at the training centre were extremely helpful and supportive which was reassuring. 


A typical week was quite draining as I was still working a full-time job, 8 hours a day for 5 days and being on dialysis for 8 hours every single night certainly took its toll. For most of it I was mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted. It just felt like all my life consisted of was work and being attached to a machine. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about ending things (I struggled with my mental health and was at quite a low point in life). I felt I had no freedom, no purpose and that I was a burden on everyone around me. 


I think it’s hard to think of positives to much just because beforehand I was a very active, sporty young man who loved to play football ever week and go out with friends and family in the evenings but I could no longer be involved in those things, and when I did go out, the time was always on my mind. 


Advice that I would give to someone in a similar situation is to never be afraid to ask for help and explain to your doctors, consultants if you feel something might not be right or you feel any pain/discomfort they may be able to work with you to find a better solution or setting that works for your body.