“I’m doing well after donating my kidney.”
It was the ultimate gift of love when Mr Ng Chai Lai, 49, donated his kidney in 2013 to give his fiancée Ms Chua Bee Leng, 49, a new lease of life. Four years on, both are doing well. Bee Leng is living a better quality of life, one that is free of dialysis. Here, Chai Lai shares his experience from his perspective as a living kidney donor and how he is just as happy and healthy as ever.
What was your transplant journey like?
I had to undergo a very thorough process in order to be cleared for the transplant surgery. Actually, my blood type did not match Bee Leng’s, but thanks to the advancement of medical technology, blood group- incompatible transplant is now possible. The hospital also helped prepare me psychologically for the transplant. I got all the support I needed.
Did you have any fear when it came to donating your kidney?
Yes, but I think it is only natural for one to feel that way. My fears were quelled when I was assured that I could lead a normal, healthy life with one kidney. I confidently made the decision to be a donor because Bee Leng needed my help, and that was what I should focus on. Thanks to NKF’s “Kidney Live Donor Support Fund”, I also did not have to worry about the transplant costs.
Has your life been affected in any way post- transplant?
My life has not changed. I only need to visit the hospital once a year for check-ups and do not have to pay the fees because of support from NKF. The doctor said that my kidney is healthy. Exercise is not an issue at all. I can continue my running and can even take my physical tness test when I go for my army reservist. In terms of diet, I simply drink more water and take food that has less sugar, salt and oil.
What thoughts would you share with someone considering being a living kidney donor?
If there is a chance to save your loved one, take it. Don’t be afraid to become a donor. The transplant will not affect your life. In fact, my hospital transplant coordinator once told me that a study showed that donors tend to stay healthier than an average person because they are more conscious of their condition!