Sudden and unexpected is how Dineish Nallainathan described finding out one of his closest loved ones was in end-stage kidney failure.
“They went in for blood tests for something unrelated, and that is when they found out,” Dineish said of his loved one who was happy and healthy up until this point in time.
“After a lot of research and tests – I knew what I wanted to do.”
Dineish is a living organ donor. He bravely put his hand up to donate his kidney in a procedure at Westmead Hospital last year.
After seeing the suffering his loved one was going through, Dineish knew it was the right thing to do.
“Like anything, you always think of the risks and the ‘what if’s’ – but I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t go through with it,” he said.
“The benefits and the quality of life I was giving my recipient outweighed every doubt I had.
“The support we received from the transplant team at Westmead Hospital was second to none. They answered all my questions and helped my family and I throughout the whole process.”
Since the procedure, both Dineish and his loved one are back to enjoying life the way they should.
“Seeing my recipient doing things they weren’t able to do before makes me so happy.
“Organ donation saves lives and improves their quality of life. In the case of kidney patients, once they receive a transplant, they are no longer hooked up to a machine for 12 hours a day, and can do so many things that they couldn’t do before.
“This could mean a simple thing that most of us take for granted in life, like going to the park to kick a footy or running up the street with your kids.”
Off the back of his kidney donation, Dineish started a support group, One Kidney Club Australia, for other living kidney donors, potential donors and their families.
“I want people to know that there is support out there, and support from people who have been through, or are in, a similar situation”, he said.
“Everyone’s journey is different, but all of us in the support group have a common goal – to help others.
“We are now looking at distributing care packs to living donors in hospitals. This will be a small token of appreciation to be given to kidney donors immediately after their surgery to recognise their ultimate act of kindness to save someone’s life.”
This week is DonateLife Week. Australians are encouraged to register to be an organ and tissue donor and to have a chat about it with their family and friends.
Dineish said that for him, becoming an organ donor was about helping those who can’t help themselves.
While living organ donation may not be suitable for everyone, but you can sign up to have your organs and tissue donated after you pass away.
“The gratitude from the people who have received organs is unbelievable. They embrace their second chance at life and give it their all,” Dineish said.
“One person can save up to 7 or 8 people. I would encourage everyone to look into it and sign up today.”