You don't have to read all of this if you don't want to, but I wanted to get my story out there.
In March 2010, at the age of 9 I fell ill with what we thought was a virus, but it didn't go away. We went to the GP and he sent us to the local hospital, but the same night we were transferred to Southampton, our regional centre. Here they diagnosed me with Messangio Cappilary Glomerulo Nephritis, an ultra rare disease. I was told my kidneys were at 5% function, and I had Haemo Dialysis for 4 weeks. This along with various drugs and a 150ml per day fluid allowance made life very hard for me. In the end we decided to use peritoneal dialysis at home, which required training for my mother and father to use the machine. I hoped that I would be discharged before my tenth birthday, but unfortunately that wasn't to be, as I was discharged a few days later.
At home I was using a PD machine 7 nights a week, as well as a feed pump to make up for my non-existent appetite. However this proved too much to handle for my stomach and almost every morning for 2 years I vomited 8 hours worth of continuous feed. Not very nice, I know.
On top of this I started having excruciating headaches up to 9 times a day. They were debilitating and stopped me from doing all the things I loved, because almost anything could trigger one.
I had missed most of year 5 and year 6. I thought my life was ruined. You don’t just come back from something like this. However I managed to get into school to sit my SAT’s and I got good grades in all the tests. Luck, was what I told myself. I sat the 11+ test to get into the grammar school near me, and to my surprise I got in. I still don’t know why to this day.
I knew since I was in Southampton that one day I would need a Kidney Transplant. Whilst we were at home my mother was being prepared to donate one of hers to me. This took a long time but eventually we got there, after nearly two years of suffering. We had a date.
The 13th Of December 2011. The day that would change my life. The day that my new story would begin.
The transplant went well. I woke up in pain, but I asked whether it had gone well, and they replied, “Yes.”
I should have been out in 2 weeks. I should have been out for Christmas. I was in lots of abnormal pain after a week, which was unusual, so after this got much worse, they performed a laparotomy on my abdomen which showed that my pancreas had released enzymes which had perforated my bowel. No explanation needed there…. This was done 6 more times over the space of 2 weeks to wash out my abdomen. The final time they formed two stomas to rest my bowel. These were horrible, but after 4 months in The Evilina Hospital, London, I was discharged once more. I had missed Christmas, New Years, Valentine’s Day and Easter. We had Christmas on the 1st of April 2012.
We thought the headaches had gone, but they came back. We tried everything to stop them, but nothing worked until I suggested that we try a drug we had tried before my transplant, called Indometacin. This stopped the headaches in their tracks.
October 9th 2012 was the date when I had my bowel put back together. After that day my life slowly got back to normal. I had missed most of year 7 and some of year 8 now.
In August 2013 I attended the British Transplant Games, which made me truly appreciate how far I’d come from how ill I’d been. I won 2 Bronze medals, and told myself that next year, I would do even better.
In August 2014 I attended the British Transplant Games and won 2 gold medals and two silver medals, which I was ecstatic about. This is what I wanted all along. This proved to me that anyone can achieve anything if they want it that badly and they try their hardest to get it.
On 29th September 2014 I was contacted by my team manager with some great news, that I’d been selected to represent Great Britain in the 2015 World Transplant Games In Argentina. This is up there with some of the best news I have ever heard.
However, to attend the world games is very expensive as I have to pay for everything myself, so I need your help to raise enough money to send me to Argentina next year.
Lewis (Aged 14)
Surplus funds will go towards Transplant Sport UK Management Team (including physios and coaches) who give up their time to support the team.
This money goes towards:
Competitor WTG Package (7 nights) plus required additional accommodation, up to 2 nights
Team Kit and equipment
Travel to and from Team Training Meetings
Training costs-eg fees and coaching costs
Travel to and from your departure airport in the UK
WTG Administration Fee-£60 per competitor/£30 per supporter/Max £120 per family for juniors
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