Tricia Sibbald, a 36-year old mother of three from East Kilbride, has spent the last four years waiting on a call that could transform her life.
Tricia was placed on the waiting list for a kidney transplant in 2011, following a lifetime of urine and kidney infections which caused extensive scarring and damage. Her pregnancies caused further strain, and the decline in her kidney function following the birth of her seven year old daughter Erin resulted in her being listed for transplant and starting dialysis the following year.
Tricia said: “I’d always had issues with my kidneys, but having children put even more of a strain on them. I knew that my kidney function had declined over the years, but it was still a huge shock being told that I was being listed and had to start dialysis.
“It’s very daunting being told news like that. Beginning dialysis was really difficult as it’s a whole different life. Going into hospital regularly and getting needles in my arm was petrifying at first, but like anything you get used to it pretty quickly. I just felt a huge amount of guilt at the impact it had on my family as I had to be in hospital three days a week for four hours at a time. But at the end of the day, that was the best thing for me so I just had to get on with it.” Tricia shortly moved to dialysing at home, and has a cabin built in her garden where she goes three times a week to dialyse.
She said: “Before I started dialysis I didn’t realise how bad I was. I’m the type of person who just gets on with things even if I feel bad, but looking back I was struggling in work, was very lethargic and constantly thirsty. Since starting dialysis I’ve had to cut back on my work which wasn’t great, but I still manage to work part-time. ”
Speaking about life on the transplant waiting list, Tricia said: “It’s always there, but some days I can be busy and don’t really think about it. Then there’s days when you’re trying to plan something like a trip away or a night out and you wonder whether you shouldn’t because that might be the day you get the call. I’m pretty restricted being on dialysis anyway, so it’s just something you live with day to day.”
“Since being listed, people have said to me that they’d be an organ donor, but haven’t joined the NHS Organ Donor Register. Although I’m waiting, I’ve registered because I know the more people that register, the more people that can be helped.
“Getting that call would mean everything to me. Not as much for me, but for my family. I feel my three kids can’t get the best of their mum because I’m stuck in a cabin for 12 hours a week and sometimes can feel really unwell.
“Apart from having my health and more independence, it would mean my kids would be able to enjoy their time with me a bit better, which would mean the world.”
The more people that join the NHS Organ Donor Register, the more lives that can be saved. The sad reality is that if you’re not on the Register, it’s less likely your family will donate your organs.
So if you support organ donation, make it count. #Take2Minutes to save a live and join now