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I will never stop having hope that one day my dad will get the call for a kidney transplant

08 December 2023

Recently we shared the experiences of Stuart Rose, an executive chef from Edinburgh who requires dialysis treatment three times a week to stay alive while he waits for a transplant. 

Life has been challenging for Stuart and his loved ones, including his daughter Lauren, aged 16, who has written about how she has been affected by her dad’s illness. This is a powerful perspective on how kidney disease impacts whole families, particularly as we enter the Christmas season. 

In Lauren’s own words

Am I a daddy’s little girl? Of course I am. I love my dad. But unfortunately for us, my dad was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that affected his kidneys, called lupus, in 2003. Luckily the doctors were able to keep it under control and he was in remission for fifteen years. Fast forward to 2019 though, and his kidneys were deteriorating at a quick rate. He then proceeded to start dialysis and was placed on the kidney transplant list. I still feel disheartened and hurt to this day that this is happening to us, and I am frightened for the future. 

The period before my dad started home dialysis, he became extremely ill; this was terrifying to witness. I had never seen him this unwell, he just was not himself. I would come home from school and just see him lying there, absolutely helpless, and there was nothing I could do. I was useless. It was the constant thought of ‘will he be okay’?  

Out of everyone it had to be him. But it didn’t just affect him physically, it really affected him emotionally and that part hurt me the most. Watching him cry was soul-destroying and made me feel so broken inside. I didn’t want to see him in pain. I still feel helpless there is nothing I can do to help but I know as long as I stay strong, just like how brave my dad is, we will get through it together. 

My dad's illness really taught me to take every day as it comes and to be thankful for what you have. You never know, one day your whole life could spontaneously change in a matter of seconds. The simplest things you can do in life could become so challenging.

Father being hugged by daughter who is standing behind him.
Dad Stuart and daughter Lauren.

I am extremely grateful that I have the most supportive, caring and loving family that I can talk to about this dreadful situation. I know I’m not alone. This is awful for my dad but also for me to go through. I’m glad he’s got the help and support that he needs to get through this difficult part of not only his life, but my life too.  

I felt in a way I had to grow up a bit quicker than my friends as I was practically a carer for my dad. I helped set up his dialysis machine every night, which is really confusing and difficult, as he depended on this machine to keep him alive. He acts strong in front of me and my little brother, but I know this isn’t easy for him.  

I wake up every morning wishing this will be the day our lives will change for the better. I still feel enraged that this happened to us, but I know we will get through it together. Just as long as I stay brave, I know my dad will never stop fighting. I continue to wonder when will he get this transplant? But I know I will never stop having hope that one day my dad will get the call for a kidney transplant, as this will truly be the greatest gift of life. 

Transform treatments for people like Stuart

The lives of about 30,000 patients in the UK are significantly affected by the need to visit hospital multiple times a week for long dialysis sessions with gruelling side-effects. Transplants can take years to receive and will only last an average of 20 years before another is needed. 

At Kidney Research UK, we are funding crucial research into new and better treatments for the estimated 7.2 million people living with kidney disease in the UK. Help us to transform treatments and make transplants last forever. 

Read more about people living with kidney disease

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