In 2010 I graduated as a physiotherapist and was eager and excited to start the next phase of my life, which was to look after people with health conditions and help them get back into their normal life.

I worked for three years, reaching some of my goals, until Christmas 2014, when I fell ill and went into hospital. I was told I had a virus and there were no other concerns, so I returned to work but I started to feel odd again. I noticed I struggled to carry my first aid bag, which was exceptionally light and was not able to walk in a normal pattern. I carried on working until I was admitted into hospital a few days later.

All the tests and investigations were found to be clear, and I was discharged and advised to take two weeks rest. On returning to work, I kept complaining of fever and joint pain, but this didn't stop me from working; I just kept going.

In December 2016, I decided to go to my GP to ask him to refer me to a private specialist as I wanted to know why I was getting a fever, headaches and feeling weak all the time. He advised that my blood pressure was high and told me my kidney function was 37%. He provided me with blood pressure medication and asked that I return to see him after four weeks.

I continued with my job as per normal and visited my GP four weeks later, where my EGFR kidney function had dropped to 32%. In January 2017, I went for a biopsy where it was noted that I had chronic scarring in my kidneys. I was told by my consultants that I have IgA nephropathy, and one day in the future I will need to have dialysis or a kidney transplant. I was in a state of shock and was in denial for more than a year.

I started getting more and more tired, struggling to do normal daily activities - I had low motivation, fatigue and drive. I found it torture going shopping, eating out in restaurants or socialising, because I would feel very fatigued. I was suffering from renal anaemia and was given EPO injections weekly to improve my blood levels. By this time, I had stopped working due to my energy levels and fatigue.

Every month I was seeing my renal consultant for monitoring - we noted my GFR was dropping 1-2 points every month. We estimated that I would be on dialysis around September 2019.

By October 2019, I went to Baxter House for my manual dialysis training to enable me to be independent and safe with carrying out dialysis daily at home. I preferred this technique of carrying out dialysis daily three times at home or whilst visiting friends and family. I could take my fluid bags, sterile wipes and connections with me. This was easy and useful; I felt I can be mobile and spend time with my loved ones.

After eight months of dialysis and EPO injections, I stared becoming somewhat confident. I accepted my new lifestyle on manual exchanges of dialysis and went on to trying the automated peritoneal dialysis which was nine hours every night. I wanted to try this to allow me to be free in the day and to reduce the number of times I connect myself to prevent any possible cross infections. During Covid, I learnt the importance of isolation and cross-contamination. Being at home with two vulnerable adults I had to be safe from infection and to also ensure my parents were safe.

During the second wave of Covid-19 in September 2020, I received a call from Hammersmith Hospital asking me if I would like to have a kidney transplant. I could not believe this was happening. I was in the anaesthetic room with the most caring and passionate doctors and I could not stop smiling. My mind was not mine for some time, I couldn't think, except about the person who had donated a kidney to me. I prayed for their soul to be in peace.

I don't know where I would be without this blessing. I'm excited to return to my physiotherapy job and look forward to taking care of my patients and giving them the best care. During my kidney disease, I have learnt that during sickness, we suffer from pain physically and psychologically with high and low emotions. Making organ transplant friends and listening to their stories allowed me to learn about people's mental health; their diagnosis; their management; and finally supporting each other.

During my admission at Hammersmith Hospital I had great surgeons, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and nutritionists, who took great care of me. I was advised on Covid safety, which I adhere to very much.

Being a transplant patients, we are high-risk patients, and it is vital we take all precautions to maintain safety. Wear face masks and gloves and wash our hands and maintain sterility. Up to this date, I am recovering well and maintaining safety at all times; for myself, my family and friends and for all.

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