Friday, December 19, 2008

Kidney op man is on the crest of a wave - WalesOnline

Kidney op man is on the crest of a wave - WalesOnline

FOR the first time in nearly five years Mark Schofield is looking forward to a normal Christmas with his family and friends, able to eat what he wants and have a festive tipple with his neighbours.

And the cause for his celebration is that after a long wait Mark has received a kidney transplant, an operation that released him from the shackles of his daily dialysis routine.

The father of two and former UK surfing champion said one of the highlights of his recovery in the past 10 months was the first time he got back on his surfboard, with his 17-year-old son George next to him on the waves during a family holiday in Ireland.

Mark, 45, had been on dialysis every day for three hours since December 19, 2003, when his first kidney transplant, resulting from a donation by his mum Jean, failed after 13 years. Forced back on to dialysis, Mark waited for a new opportunity and a second chance with another transplant but as the years rolled by he feared that might never happen.

“I was giving myself dialysis at home and that affected the whole family, three hours every day, which means 730 injections a year, to clean my blood. Looking back, I started to go downhill.”

Mark became so desperate he embarked on a “transplant tourism” trip to the Philippines last year to try to buy a kidney from a live donor but the trip failed when no match was found.

He now has nothing but praise for the NHS, which came up with a kidney transplant match for him in February this year.

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