Slice of life: Now I have two birthdays

I was on dialysis for four years. I was perfectly healthy before that. But then I caught a bad flu. And the doctor told me my blood pressure was too high. Sometimes it’s our fault. We neglect our health. I didn’t take the doctor seriously. Until I collapsed. That high blood pressure caused my kidneys to fail.

I had to do dialysis three times a week. My whole life changed. I learned to value my health and look after myself. But I also learned to be patient.

I was on dialysis at Baragwanath hospital; there were three of us. We were all told that there was a possible kidney for us. But then they told us that there’s a small child who also needs a kidney. And it will secure this child’s future. So, we said, “Okay, we’ll wait for our turn.”

I was in my early 40s then; I can’t remember exactly how old I was then. I wasn’t disappointed because I knew, one day, my day would also come.

And then it eventually came.

I was on my way home from Bara one afternoon. I had just done dialysis. My phone rang. They told me they needed me at Charlotte Maxeke hospital, there’s a kidney for me. They told me they wanted to do the transplant on that day, the 9th of October. Then that night they told me they would do it the next day. And then it happened.

They came to me with a small box and said, “There’s your kidney.” Just like that.

The next thing I remember is waking up in the ward, lots of drips and pipes, but the nurses told me it worked. I had a kidney. I was so happy. That was eight years ago. Now I have two birthdays, October 10 and November 2.More than anything, now, I respect life.Jackson Mandla Kgwetla, 53, as told to Khadija Patel

Khadija Patel
Khadija Patel pushes words on street corners. She is the editor-in-chief of the Mail & Guardian, a co-founder of the The Daily Vox and vice chairperson of the Vienna-based International Press Institute (IPI). As a journalist she has produced work for Sky News, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, Quartz, City Press and the Daily Maverick, among others. She is also a research associate at WISER (Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Witwatersrand) and has previously worked in community media. In 2017, she was among 11 people from across Africa and the diaspora who were awarded the inaugural Africa #NoFilter fellowship from the Ford Foundation and in 2018, she was awarded honorary membership of the Golden Key Society. She is passionate about the protection and enhancement of global media as a public good.
Advertisting

SAA grounds flights due to low demand

SAA is working to accommodate customers on its sister airlines after it cancelled flights due to low demand

Isabel dos Santos did not loot Angola alone

Once again, Western auditing and consulting firms shamelessly facilitated corruption on an international scale

Lekwa municipality won’t answer questions about why children died in...

Three children are dead. More than a dozen homes have been gutted by fires in the past six months. And, as...

Failure to investigate TRC cases during the Mandela era delayed...

Counsel for late trade unionist Neil Aggett’s family decries the slow pace of instituting an inquest into his death
Advertising

Press Releases

Upskill yourself to land your dream job in 2020

If you received admission to an IIE Higher Certificate qualification, once you have graduated, you can articulate to an IIE Diploma and then IIE Bachelor's degree at IIE Rosebank College.

South Africans unsure of what to expect in 2020

Almost half (49%) of South Africans, 15 years and older, agree or strongly agree that they view 2020 with optimism.

KZN teacher educators jet off to Columbia University

A group of academics were selected as participants of the programme focused on PhD completion, mobility, supervision capacity development and the generation of high-impact research.

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.