"On 2 September 2022 I will be celebrating forty years since having my kidney transplant.  My father donated one of his kidneys to me on 2 September 1982, when I was twenty years old.

My kidney journey began in my early teens, mid 1970s.  I started to feel unwell a lot of the time.  I always felt tired, I had sore joints and I felt that I needed the toilet frequently.  Tests never showed a urine infection.  At one point I was referred to a psychiatrist as it was possibly “all in my head”.  Grrrr.

A tribute to my now late Mum… she persevered with seeking answers from doctors.  After many months of doctors and hospital visits, I was diagnosed with Lupus which was affecting my kidneys.  I was put on a high dose of prednisone, which caused my face to puff up – not much fun for a girl in her teens.

My parents had emigrated from Scotland to New Zealand in the late 1950s.  My sister, brother and I were all born in the 1960s in Christchurch.  In 1978 my parents decided to return to Scotland where they would have the support of family.  They also possibly thought that renal treatment was more advanced in the United Kingdom at that time.

In Scotland my health went downhill, and I can remember numerous doctor and hospital visits.  I started dialysis in January 1980 at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.  Then!  In 1982 I had my kidney transplant, and I have never looked back!  My transplant was performed at the Nuffield Unit, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh.

I attended the Transplant Games, 1984 in Portsmouth, 1985 in Edinburgh, 1986 in Merseyside and 1987 in Exeter.  I have great memories from those times.

At the end of 1987 my sister and I returned to New Zealand.  I am now looked after by a wonderful team in the Nephrology Department at Christchurch Public Hospital.

I got married in 1994 and now have three adult children, and a wonderful husband.  According to the doctors at the time, my kidney worked wonderfully during each pregnancy.  My parents immigrated back to New Zealand in 1996 and are very proud grandparents.

I feel very fortunate to have had such a successful kidney transplant and wanted to share my story with others.

A huge thankyou to the renal staff at Edinburgh and Christchurch hospitals, and of course a huge thankyou to my Dad!

I wish everyone all the best on their kidney journey."