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Melanie hopes for a better life
by Madeleine Brindley, Western Mail
MELANIE DARK spends two hours every day attached to a machine. It has been this way for the past 10 years.
The 45-year-old mother-of-one and her family have had to adjust their lives to the disease, and the machine, which regulates Melanie’s life.
Her kidney failure and her dependence on haemodialysis not only dictate where she can go on holiday, but what she can eat and how much she can drink.
Although the dialysis has kept her alive for the past 10 years – during which time Melanie has been waiting for a transplant – it is now taking its toll on her body.
“It is horrendous, absolutely horrendous,” she said. “I can do the machine; I can put the needles into me, but it’s the side-effects.
Dialysis has left me absolutely shattered and, because I have been on it for quite a while now, it is starting to affect my joints.
“I’m having awful pain when I’m walking. I like making cards but if I do that for a while, I have pains in my hands and my shoulders.”
Melanie, who lives near Carmarthen, is one of hundreds of patients in Wales who depend on dialysis for survival. She is also one of some 380 people in Wales who are waiting for a phone call to tell them that a donor kidney has been found."