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An Unknown Angel

I wouldn't be here today if the family of my donor said no to donation.

Hi my name is Aleisha and I am 33 years old.

I was diagnosed at a young age with Alports Nephritis, a genetic kidney disease. This type of disease also effects my hearing and eye sight and I consequently starting wearing hearing aids by the time I was at pre-school.

I have always had a positive attitude with my Alports and did my best to look after my health. So after 22 years of relative good health, I started dialysis and 'obeyed by the book' my dialysis treatment (CAPD) for three and a half years.

I never really thought about transplantation while I was on dialysis, apart from having a mobile glued to my side 24 hours a day. I always focused on dialysis and the 'here and now'. It's what I needed to do to stay alive and that was keeping me centred!

Nothing can prepare you for when the phone rings at 10.30 at night and you're alone in bed on dialysis and after answering you hear, 'Aleisha, would you like a kidney?'.

Your chest tightens. Its like time suspends and after a short time, you remember to breathe. 'Aleisha? Breathe, your about to receive a gift of life'.

I am 33 now and have been so thankful and happy for the years of being dialysis free!

I know it is hard for most people to understand what it feels like to be given life, and the easiest way I describe it is like this.....I wouldn't be here today if the family of my donor said no to donation. I will be forever grateful and humbled to my unknown angel.


Nicky Burton