Chairman Mal O’Toole conducted a question and answer session with our guest speaker, Peter Auld whose topic was speaking about donating a kidney to his brother. Born in Sunshine, youngest of six brothers. Peter lives on Griffiths Street in Port Fairy close to east beach. Peter gave a brief background of his family before elaborating further about his experiences of participating as the donor in a kidney transplant.
Peter lives in Port Fairy as does much of his family, and provided a background on how he was able to donate a kidney to his brother Tony
About 20 years ago, Peter’s brother Tony became ill with a kidney problem which turned out to be renal failure, and as a result he spent an extended period on medication and dialysis. Peter elaborated on the process during the preliminary stages and investigation regarding compatibility, which involved weekly tests including blood tests and other preliminary investigations. When it was time for the surgery, both he and Tony were in hospital together to facilitate the transplant.
The medical procedure took approximately 5-6 hours and Peter spent four days heavily sedated, but being physically fit and active, this helped his body recover from the procedure. Overall, he was in hospital for about a week. His brother Tony being the kidney recipient was in hospital for a longer period. Peter reported there was an immediate improvement in Tony’s health following the transplant.
After going home, he stayed off work for about a month, and then returned to work on light duties, but had to be careful not to do heavy lifting until his body had properly healed. Tony’s recovery took longer and he remains on anti-rejection tablets for the rest of his life. Peter still has a medical checkup every twelve months as a precautionary measure, and Tony also has regular checkups both in Warrnambool and Melbourne even though the transplant took place about 20 years ago.
Peter tries not to worry about only having one kidney now, but noted he was lucky to be able to help his brother with a new kidney. He remains active in Foodshare, Men’s Shed, gardening and walking activities.
A number of questions were asked with Jim asking that if Tony predeceased Peter could he get the kidney back; the answer was no.
Mark asked about water being healthy for kidneys, and did Peter make any significant changes to lifestyle?  Lindsay asked if he had to eat a special diet. Peter noted apart from drinking lots of water he didn’t have to make any lifestyle or diet changes.
Tim asked about recovery and any lingering symptoms, but Peter noted that he  had built up his strength and fitness prior to the surgery, thus was fairly fit and prepared for the surgery which enabled him to recover quite quickly. He was in his early forties at the time he donated a kidney.
Marg let the meeting know she was very proud of Peter (Marg is Peter’s cousin), but Peter stated he doesn’t consider he has done anything that others wouldn’t do.
Bruce asked about the possibility of a match within the same family. Peter said he and Tony weren’t a perfect match, but with medication, the compatibility was sufficiently suitable to enable the transplant to be a success.
Marty asked if they had the two brothers in the theatre at the same time, but Peter couldn’t recall.
Mal thanked Peter for sharing his story with the club which showed its appreciation in the usual manner.