"My journey began back in 1998 when I started to feel unwell and off my food, thirsty, drinking a lot of water, along with milk and alcohol. Basically, any drink I could get my hands on all whilst going to the toilet quite often.

One Saturday morning I decided to visit my local GP, the doctor checked me over and referred me to my local hospital where they said I was Type 1 diabetic. My pancreas had ‘packed in’ so I began to take insulin.

Because of this diagnosis, it made me make a few changes to my lifestyle. 

All was going well until 2014 when I had a works medical and I found out that I had a low haemoglobin result, so once again, I went to see my local GP which carried out another test, and this too came back with a low haemoglobin result.

My GP referred me to see a consultant at my local hospital Ysbyty Gwynedd north Wales, so off I went to see him. The consultant advised that I was to have a biopsy to take a piece of my kidney and to send away for tests.

In a couple of days after the biopsy, they confirmed what they thought it was, after 6-9 months my kidney function was at 11% per cent. It was decided that I had to begin peritoneal dialysis treatment, which involves a catheter fitted. All was going well until I was told that it was not doing any good, so I had to go on haemodialysis which meant I had to go to my local hospital 3 times a week. First, I had a neckline inserted, then I had a fistula fitted within my left arm. All was going well again, however we started to discuss the option of an SPK transplant.

This is really where my story begins as I began to wait for my transplant.

In March 2017 I went to Manchester Royal Infirmary where I met a transplant team, and it was decided I was to be put on the transplant waiting list but first I had to pass my medical fitness tests.

After passing the fitness tests, I began to wait. Then out of the blue I got a call in the middle of the night from Manchester Royal who called to say they have a transplant ready for me – I got to the hospital but was only to be told that the kidney wasn’t good enough for transplant so I went back home disappointed but continued to have positive thoughts.

The transplant ‘call’ happened to me another 7 times where the kidney or pancreas was not suitable for me. The 8th time I went, I had the tests before surgery to be told that my heart seemed to be having issues so to not go through with the procedure.

I then had to go back to my local hospital and do all of the tests again which set me back 18 months and be off of the transplant waiting list.

I was then referred back on to the waiting list and received a phone call from Professor Martin Rutter asking if I was interested in a kidney islet transplant. I responded to him and said I didn’t know anything about islet, so he invited me over to see his team in Manchester, they explained to me that they were keen on an SPK transplant on anyone over the age of 60 so it was decided we would go for that treatment.

On the 13th October 2020 I got a call to go back to Manchester Royal Infirmary and I had a kidney transplant that day. Two days later I had an islet transplant and 7 days later was sent home. All is now working well, and I’ve had to go back to Manchester occasionally for islet top ups which has always been the plan to be insulin free.

I hope that whoever reads this can pass it on to someone in a similar position that I have been in and that it helps in the ups and downs of waiting for a transplant.

I’d like to thank all of the staff and the Renal unit at Ysbty Gwynedd Bangor and all of the staff on the transplant ward number 39 Manchester Royal Infirmary."