Brother and sister donation

Assed Ramae, 41, from Edinburgh found himself needing both a liver and kidney transplant after being diagnosed with a rare condition which resulted in stage 4 kidney disease. 

After suffering from kidney stones since he was 19, Assed’s condition got progressively worse until tests highlighted there was an issue with his liver function, a condition called hyperoxaluria, which was causing his kidneys to fail. 

He started dialysis and was then listed for a liver transplant in 2018, with surgery going ahead just eight months later.  Following his recovery, he went onto receive a kidney from his younger sister, Noreen Ashraf. 

Speaking about life on the waiting list, Assed said:

“I had prepared myself for a two year wait for a liver transplant, and was one week away from having contractors come to my house to fit a home dialysis unit so I didn’t have to go into hospital three times a week, when I got the call saying there was a liver available for me. I’d only been waiting for eight months, something that I’m incredibly grateful for.”

Once doctors were confident Assed’s new liver was functioning correctly, living donation was raised as possible route, whilst Assed’s dialysis continued.  

“Living donation was mentioned right at the outset, but to be honest I didn’t give it much consideration. However, unbeknownst to me, my family had discussed it at length and my two sisters decided they would both go through the matching process, and whoever was the better match would donate. 

“By October 2019 my younger sister, Noreen, was identified as the best match, and so the transplant went ahead in December.”

Speaking about donating a kidney to her brother, receptionist Noreen, 40 from Livingston, said: 

“Having watched my brother sit on the waiting list for a liver transplant, we didn’t want him to have another long wait for a kidney. I knew his wife had been tested, but wasn’t a match; so me and my older sister went along to see if we could help.

“To anyone considering living donation, I’d say just go for it. My recovery hasn’t been as straightforward as I’d hoped, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. Assed was actually up and about before me after the surgery, and seeing how much healthier he’s looking now is so great as that’s exactly why I decided to do this.”

Speaking about life now, Assed said:

“Even though I’m still in recovery, the fact I’m no longer on dialysis is massive. I spent around three years dialysing, before and after my first transplant, and found it to be so draining, it would wipe me out for an entire day. 

“Balancing twilight dialysis, where I’d get home from the hospital after midnight, with work was so tiring, so I’m looking forward to getting back to work without this burden.

“We put life on hold as a family, but now just simple things like being able to take my daughter to the leisure centre, remind me that life can restart.”

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