So lucky to be saved by a double transplant

Last updated 05:00 01/07/2012
Robyn Donnelly
GRAHAME COX/Fairfax NZ
HELPING HAND: Organ donor recipient Robyn Donnelly.

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Double organ recipient Robyn Donnelly counts herself "really lucky" for her successful kidney and pancreas transplants.

The former type 1 diabetic was seriously ill and on dialysis at the age of 30 when she received the organs 12 years ago.

"I was throwing up every day from the build-up of toxins in my body, I was feeling really ill," the Auckland resident said. "I didn't have much of an appetite, or any energy. My haemoglobin count was really low.

"I was pretty miserable. Three times a week you dialyse for four hour sessions but afterwards you do feel good because you're getting rid of the toxins."

Donnelly is one of the lucky ones. She was on dialysis for six weeks before she received her life-saving transplants, whereas many are forced to wait years.

"I've been really, really lucky. Part of the reason is because I needed a double organ transplant, so I was higher up the priority list, and I was the best tissue match [for the deceased donor]."

She would like to see more people consider organ donation and make their intentions known.

"So many people need to know that the driver's licence system doesn't work. You need to talk to your next of kin."

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