Durban - A Durban woman will get a new lease of life on Tuesday when her brother gives her the ultimate gift - a kidney.
Gregory Edward, 41, of Port Elizabeth was tested and found to be a perfect kidney donor match for his ailing sister Alicia, 31, of Phoenix.
The transplant was to take place this morning at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital in Durban.
Edward, his brother Leonard and Alicia’s husband, Wenzel Ranjith, were tested as possible donors.
Edward, who is studying towards becoming a pastor, said being a perfect match for his sister was a “gift from God”.
“I did not have to think about the decision to give my sister a better life. Love overcomes everything,” he said.
“I could not stand to see Alicia suffer. I am optimistic that after the transplant she will be able to live a normal life and most importantly, be a mother to her children.”
He said his sister had been unable to go to the beach or run in the park with her children.
“She has suffered immense pain and discomfort for the past four years. Her physical and emotional state has deteriorated,” Edward said. “I cannot wait for her to become her bubbly self again.”
Edward, who is due to get married in June, said he had no doubt he would be fit and healthy before he walked down the aisle.
Speaking from her hospital bed yesterday, Alicia said she was diagnosed with kidney failure during her pregnancy with her second child, Elijah.
While pregnant she suffered from chronic high blood pressure.
“The condition went untreated and this led to renal failure. The result was confirmed by a series of blood tests,” she said.
“Until 2011, I was fine. I lived a relatively normal life.”
But, in September 2011, her condition took a turn for the worse.
“I became terribly ill and had to go for dialysis four times a week. This took a toll on my body and my family. At that point it seemed like life was not worth living.”
She said her condition continued to deteriorate and doctors told her that her only chance of survival was a kidney transplant.
“My brothers and husband did not hesitate to get tested. I am glad that one of them was a match,” she said. “It was nothing but a miracle.”
Alicia said she was indebted to her elder brother and the choice he made to “share his life with me”.
“I am so thankful for his generosity. He has not only given me a second shot at life - he has given it to my family, too,” she said.
“For that, I will be eternally grateful.”