Groote Schuur Hospital (GSH) kidney transplant recipient receives generous birthday gift to prolong her life
A day before her 36th birthday on 22 November 2023, Leandré Wiltshire, whose kidneys no longer functioned properly, had a successful transplant at Groote Schuur Hospital (GSH). This special occasion is a direct result of the dedicated team of surgeons and other healthcare workers at the hospital, as well as her partner, Mervyn Petersen, who donated one of his kidneys to her.
Since December 2018, Leandré has been on dialysis which does the work of an individual’s kidneys by removing waste products and excess fluid from the blood.
Treatment for her kidney disease required her to visit a healthcare facility three times per week for dialysis, and that meant travelling far distances using public transport. “I am excited now that I got a kidney. This was the best birthday present ever. Thank you to Mervyn, who helped me through this whole journey. He provided tremendous support to our four children in order for me to continue my treatment and life-changing procedure,” she said.
When Marvin (42) was tested and discovered he was a match for Leandré, he was ecstatic. “For the mother of our children, this was the best gift that I could have given her. All the sacrifices that she made was worthwhile in the end. I want to be happy with her and look forward to our journey together,” he said.
At GSH, there is a team that ensures that all transplants run smoothly. Transplant coordinator, Grant-Lee Hoffman, said receiving an organ can become a life-changing event for recipients as Leandré’s story demonstrates.
“Individuals who are on an organ waiting list usually have an organ disease that significantly impacts their quality of life. Therefore, organ donation is an opportunity to help them. The hospital has performed 60 kidney transplants in 2023, of which 28 have been living donors. The statistics show that 28 living donors is the highest number since 2009. We are proud to have given second chances at life for many recipients this year, whether they suffered with lung disease or kidney failure,” Hoffman said.
For many years, GSH has remained at the forefront of advanced organ disease treatment and transplant surgery in the country. The hospital has given hope to thousands of individuals with organ disease, and in doing so, improved their quality of life without continuous, lifelong dialysis treatment. After transplantation, recipients have been able to return to school or work and live largely normal lives.