In honour of World Kidney Day, on Thursday March 9, kidney transplant patient Ronald Fernandez celebrated the anniversary of his kidney transplant at Groote Schuur Hospital 40 years ago.
The Heathfield resident received the kidney when he was 28 from his sister, and today, at age 68, Mr Fernandez is still going strong and says he looks forward to another 40 years with his transplanted kidney.
Mr Fernandez suffered from lupus nephritis as a child and experienced swelling in his body. His father initially offered him his kidney, but Mr Fernandez’s sister’s kidney was considered a better match as her chromosomes were closer to his own.
“I was worried about her giving her kidney to me because she had two children, but she told me not to worry. I have never had problems since the transplant,” said Mr Fernandez.
“He is lucky to have received the kidney after only being on dialysis at Groote Schuur Hospital for two months. He is one of the longest living patients after receiving one kidney at the hospital. Groote Schuur Hospital is real proud that we could do this transplant 40 years ago and that he is still living a healthy life,” said Groote Schuur Hospital spokesman, Alaric Jacobs.
Mr Fernandez now only visits Groote Schuur once a year for his annual check-up.
Mr Fernandez is married to Wendy and they have five children together.