For all those who have been following the story and blog of a South African expat living in Canada who kindly offered her kidney to her former schoolmate, Di Wilkinson in Johannesburg, there is some good news!
“We have a match!” says Di’s daughter Legh. “Speechless. Overwhelmed. Emotional. Grateful.”
Potential donors go through extensive tests to establish if it is safe for them to donate. Unbelievably, seven of Di’s friends had already offered… but although all were within her blood group, none matched with the virtual cross matching.
Legh told SAPeople: “My mom has been fighting a brutal battle in hospital for the last seven days. She is still there, however, this news has renewed her vigour to fight it.
“I knew there was light at the end of the tunnel for my family. After three years, we can see the glistening light beams. We still have a way to walk though…”
Jill Hamilton, whom Di met when they were both at school in Zimbabwe over 30 years ago, heard about Di’s plight a couple of months ago and offered her her kidney as a “living donor”.
The two women set up a blog to distract themselves during the torturous wait to find out if they were compatible, and to raise awareness about living organ donations.
Although today’s news is brilliant Legh does caution that “Jill and my mom match on paper; we need to confirm this by mixing their bloods and confirming no reactions. This requires delivering a vial of blood from Vancouver to South Africa, which is the next step.”
Writing on their ‘Diary of a Living Donation’ blog, Legh said: “My mom has had blood transfusions since the last time she gave blood for matching. This could potentially complicate things.
“Lastly, to ALL OF YOU… I cannot begin to put into words how grateful we are for your love, positive thoughts, Prayers, good energy, well wishes etc… I firmly believe it drove this process. Please don’t stop now, we need it more than ever. Please SHARE, follow our journey and let us create the awareness Organ Donation so desperately needs.
“To Jill, I have one word WOW.”