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Author Topic: 40yrs with kidney tx!  (Read 1767 times)
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« on: March 18, 2015, 12:34:24 PM »


Retired Plymouth professor celebrates 40 years since kidney transplant
By Plymouth Herald  |  Posted: March 18, 2015

A FORMER Plymouth professor is celebrating more than 40 years since his kidney transplant.

Andy Demaine, aged 57, had a kidney transplant in 1974 – but changed his name and told no one about his kidney failure for many years.

Andy, who has just retired as a professor from the Peninsula School of Medicine and Dentistry at Plymouth University, said he was “tired” of the medical interventions and hospital appointments he had gone through since he was 12.

“I just wanted to be normal and to be like others,” said Andy, who was born Andy Northcott.

He was first ill in 1969 as a schoolboy, having dialysis when it was crude and basic and protein was almost deleted from the diet leading to real hunger.

After his first transplant with a kidney from his father at the age of 13, he’d lost an academic year and his friends had moved on.

At the age of 17, Andy’s first transplant began to fail and he was transferred nearly 500 miles away to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, for three months, before having another transplant.

“Even though the kidney didn’t work for about 10 days, I just knew it was going to be ok and it hasn’t let me down over these last 40 years, Andy said.

“I went back to school and spent all my days working to catch up.

“It paid off and I read biochemistry at Leeds University. As a student, I began really living for the first time. No-one knew I had a transplant as I just wanted to be like everyone else.”

Andy’s first job was tissue-typing at Guy’s Hospital before moving into research looking for genetic markers that might identify who would develop kidney failure.

His research took him on to become professor of Biomolecular and Cellular Sciences at Plymouth University, working in the area of diabetic kidney disease.

Andy, who is married to Ann and has three children, said: “We were concerned about my fertility having taken immunosuppressive drugs since age 13, but we have been blessed with Lucy who is a final year medical student, Tom who’s applying to be a naval officer and Oliver who is studying economics.”

Today, Andy is a passionate supporter of kidney patients, working as a member of the British Kidney Patient Association (BKPA) Patient Advisory Panel. He’s also on a hospital transplant committee and is training as a buddy to support teenagers and young adults.

“Although I’ve worked in medical research in diabetes for many years, I’ve kept very quiet about my own personal circumstances but I’m now ready to say more to help others.

“I like the concept of the expert patient, giving input and feedback to the health service to improve care and I hope I can help in this way. Patients deserve a voice and by working with the BKPA I can be a voice to help improve quality of life for kidney patients across the UK.”

He added: “My 40 year transplant has allowed me to lead a truly varied and exciting life and I am passionate about raising awareness of organ donation to help others benefit as I have.”

Read more: http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Retired-Plymouth-professor-celebrates-40-years/story-26193107-detail/story.html#ixzz3UleRYWpE
Follow us: @heraldnewslive on Twitter | theplymouthherald on Facebook

Read more: http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Retired-Plymouth-professor-celebrates-40-years/story-26193107-detail/story.html#ixzz3Ule1Wm8e
Follow us: @heraldnewslive on Twitter | theplymouthherald on Facebook

1982 - born with one imperfect kidney and no bladder, parents told i would not survive
1984 - urostomy op
1990 - bladder built out of colon
2007 - birth of son, gfr fall from 3O to 26
July2011 - birth of prem daughter, gfr 17%
August2011 - gfr drop to 10%
29th May2012 - RECEIVED KIDNEY 4/6 match from my wonderful dad !
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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2015, 12:59:17 PM »

Keep posting these stories. I find them fascinating and inspiring.

I made a similar comment before, but has anyone done a serious study of graft survival outliers like this? They don't say where he got his second transplant when his father's failed. Was it from a relative? Was it a perfect match? Anti-rejection therapy wasn't as advanced either. He was able to get back to school and not tell anyone. How much medication did he need?

In short, what is special about the immune systems (I assume) of people who accept a graft and hold onto it? Is there any way that the same kind of tolerance could be induced in other recipients?
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Photo is Jenna - after Disneyland - 1988

« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2015, 02:20:25 PM »

It's amazing that his first transplant from a related, living donor, only lasted 5 years, but the 2nd one from a deceased donor lasted 40 years! You just never know!

Admin for IHateDialysis 2008 - 2014, retired.
Jenna is our daughter, bad bladder damaged her kidneys.
Was on in-center hemodialysis 2003-2007.
7 yr transplant lost due to rejection.
She did PD Sept. 2013 - July 2017
Found a swap living donor using social media, friends, family.
New kidney in a paired donation swap July 26, 2017.
Her story ---> https://www.facebook.com/WantedKidneyDonor
Please watch her video: http://youtu.be/D9ZuVJ_s80Y
Living Donors Rock! http://www.livingdonorsonline.org -
News video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-7KvgQDWpU
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