Three decades of health from 'gift'

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 05:00 23/06/2014
pam crawford
STILL HEALTHY: Pam Crawford is celebrating 30 years of living with a donated kidney. She still has a daily dose of immuno-suppressant drugs.

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It's been 30 years since Pam Crawford's brother gave her a "gift of life".

The now 65-year-old received a kidney from her brother, Ken Moseby.

Crawford and her twin sister were born with medullary cystic kidney disease.

Her sister's disease progressed more quickly, and she died aged 15, before dialysis or organ transplants were available in New Zealand.

Medicine had developed enough to help Crawford when her health began to go downhill in her mid-30s.

Her three surviving siblings were checked to find their suitability for donating and Moseby was found to be Crawford's closest match.

He did not think twice about agreeing to donate his kidney to his sister.

"It wasn't a big deal," he said. "You don't mind doing something positive to give a member of the family quality of life."

He recovered quickly after the operation and had never experienced any problems due to having one kidney.

"Maybe a loss of weight, the weight of a kidney," he joked. "It was no loss to me."

The semi-retired farmer encouraged others to talk about organ donation with their loved ones.

"The more it's out there, the more that people know about it, I think the more that people accept that it's not really that big a thing."

Crawford said being given a kidney was like being given a "gift of life".

"It was relatively new. I was lucky I didn't have to live on dialysis."

The grandmother of two had not experienced any other health problems and encouraged other people to consider organ donation.

"I think it's really important that people know about the donation of kidneys and people have it on their [driving] licence, but they need to let their other family members know this is what they want.

"It is a big thing to give a kidney but it is a wonderful thing to do."

ORGAN LIST KIDNEY DONATION IN 2013

55 deceased donors gave kidneys.

58 living donors.

700 on the waiting list. 

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- The Press

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