Scott's Gift to Daughter Morgan
I will never forget 31st May 2013, the date my daughter, Morgan, was suddenly diagnosed with stage 5 renal failure. This devastating news came as a complete shock to us all as Morgan had always enjoyed physical activities and had kept good health. Morgan had a sore knee and attended the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy where the life-changing medical condition was diagnosed after routine blood tests. As a parent this news was devastating and difficult to absorb; my world had suddenly been turned upside down. I felt frightened, helpless, emotional and confused for Morgan's future; this type of news is a parent's worst nightmare.
The next day Morgan was transferred to Yorkhill Sick Kids in Glasgow where her health problems were explained to Lynn and I. I could not believe Morgan was so seriously ill; I had to stay strong and positive for her. I kept thinking I was dreaming and when I woke up everything would be okay. I found those early days emotionally tough but we were quickly pushed along with the plans put in place to help Morgan and the seeds of positivity slowly started to grow.
Over the coming weeks Morgan had surgery to fit a catheter so she could receive peritoneal dialysis at home seven nights a week, nine hours a night. This enabled her to attend school and spend time with her friends and family during the day. Morgan had a strict fluid intake and special diet so her social life was hugely restricted for someone so young. She was amazing in the way she coped with all the changes being made in her life; I was so proud of her.
Long-term plans were being discussed regarding Morgan's health and, ultimately, a kidney transplant. Both Lynn and I had blood tests done and I was a match for Morgan. Over the next nine months I received extensive testing (called a "work up") to see if I was a close enough match and fit and healthy enough to become a live organ donor. Visits to hospitals in Kirkcaldy, Edinburgh and Glasgow followed. Finding I had passed all the tests gave me a wonderful feeling as I would be able to play a part in helping to give Morgan back her life and independence.
Finally, Morgan's big day arrived: 9th July 2014. My surgery took place in Glasgow Western Infirmary; Morgan's was carried out in Yorkhill Sick Kids, Glasgow. I was taken to theatre at 8 am; Morgan went around lunchtime, returning to the ward in the early evening. It was a very long day for our family and friends. In the immediate days following my surgery I can remember very little due to the medication I was receiving, but I do remember the fantastic news that both operations had gone well and Morgan's new kidney was working. This news bought a huge smile to my face.
Three days after my surgery I visited Morgan for the first time. It was such a special moment spending time with her and seeing how well she was doing. Through all my tests, surgery and recovery my only focus was Morgan's health and helping her to return to a normal teenager’s life.
Recovering from my surgery was extremely difficult; it took 12-15 months before I started feeling like my old self. But this was a small sacrifice to pay to see Morgan recover and get back to fully enjoying life. It was my gift to Morgan and it has been such a pleasure to be able to help in her treatment. I cannot thank the medical staff enough for all the expert care that we have both received and Morgan continues to receive. I am so proud of Morgan; she has been inspirational through every challenge she has faced with her health and life in general. She now enjoys a very full active life; I could not be more pleased for her.
Finding out that I had stage 5 (end stage) renal failure was one of the hardest things I had ever heard. I was so scared; I didn't truly understand what was going on as I was only 13 at that time. I could see how seriously ill I was on the faces of my doctor and parents. I could tell that life was never going to be the same again.
I had to go straight to the renal ward in Yorkhill Hospital, Glasgow. I was kept in and closely monitored; three days later I had my first operation to have a peritoneal dialysis catheter inserted into my tummy. This catheter was so I could have peritoneal dialysis at home - nine hours a night seven nights a week. Two weeks after the operation my mum and dad went back to Yorkhill so they could get training on how to work my dialysis.
This was the point where I realised how bad life on dialysis was really going to be. The doctors told me I had a fluid restriction of one litre a day and that I had to have a special diet as my potassium and phosphate levels were way too high. Some of the things I couldn't eat were chocolate, chips and crisps. I was only allowed limited dairy products and I had to weigh out my fruit and vegetables to very little portions to keep my levels stable. I had to have injections every week and iron infusions every month. I had to take 20-30 pills every day and wasn't able to have a bath as I had an open wound. I wasn't able to stay over with my friends when they were having sleepovers. I began to feel very lonely and sad as I couldn't join in with all the fun because I had to be attached to my machine to stay alive. I wasn't allowed to have McDonald's or takeaways with my friends either.
While I was on dialysis my mum and dad were both tested to see if they were a possible match to give me a new kidney. My mum was sad that she wasn't a match, but my dad was. Life began to look up! This also meant that I didn't need to go on transplant waiting list. My dad had to get lots of tests done to make sure he was fit and healthy enough to give me his kidney.
On 9th July 2014 I got my gift of life from my dad: my kidney. I was so happy to start getting my life back. I couldn't thank my dad enough; he saved my life and risked his to do it. My life now is much better than it was when I was on dialysis and I'm able to do all the things I wasn't allowed to do then. I 've named my kidney Dynamo as it is magical and keeps me alive every day. It is the best gift I've ever had.