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Lesley’s kidney transplant journey

Lesley Lumsdaine had a successful transplant in 2012 from a kidney donated by her husband.

Here is her story in her own words:

I was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease in the summer of 1992 but was fortunate not to suffer any ill effects with the condition at that time. All that was required was for me to attend hospital once a year for blood tests. However, over the following years my check-ups became more regular as my kidney function deteriorated. Throughout this period I continued to enjoy good health and full-time employment.

Lesley Lumsdaine

In 2006 my husband, Craig, and I attended a renal clinic preview evening where various options of renal replacement were discussed. Some weeks after the preview evening we decided that a transplant was the best option for me and we subsequently met the transplant team at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary (ERI) to discuss what our next steps were.

By 2010, my kidney function had deteriorated to the level where I was placed on the transplant list and the realisation occurred that receiving a kidney in this way could take a considerable amount of time to happen, if at all. It was at this time that Craig decided he wanted to be tested to see if he would be a suitable donor for me. Thankfully after a simple blood test Craig was confirmed as being a suitable match but it was still necessary for him to undergo further thorough tests and attend various meetings at the hospital.

In Dec 2011, my kidney function was deteriorating quickly and at a meeting with my consultant we agreed that I would undergo a pre-emptive transplant on 1 February 2012.

Craig and I were obviously anxious leading up to the operations but we had a great deal of confidence in the transplant teams who were looking after us. We had the operations and woke up together in the recovery room. We were told that both surgeries were very successful and Craig was allowed home after four days and I was allowed home after eight. I had two month’s off work convalescing.

We were advised by my consultant that there may be some bumps along the way following the transplant and this turned out to be the case. I had three biopsies and various tests whilst adjusting to the new medication. The good news is that my kidney will be five years old in February 2017 and the earlier tweaking of my medication has been successful and my kidney has settled in well.

I always enjoyed keeping fit before my transplant and I firmly believe this helped me a lot with my pre and post-operative recovery. Three days prior to my operation I did my usual four mile run and three months after the operation I completed the 5km Cramond Park Run. I also loved running the Glasgow 10km with my surgeon, Lorna Marson in October 2014, something we had discussed doing together just days after the operation. I followed this up in 2015 when we put two teams together to run the Hairy Haggis Relay, part of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival, with friends and staff from the transplant department and raised £1,800 for Kidney Research UK.

Three months after my operation I completed a 5km run!

My successful transplant has enabled me to lead an active, normal life where I can enjoy everything I did pre-transplant and I am looking forward to more running challenges in 2017, including the Edinburgh 10km, a race I previously ran in 2010.

Craig and I are very grateful to have received such wonderful care and support from everyone involved at the transplant department, ERI. Their ongoing commitment and dedication is second to none.

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