DAY THREE/FOUR: This Kidney does not & will not belong to me


Day Three: 27th July 2017

They took away the pain pump.

What the actual fuck.

Later on…

Ive been introduced to Oxycodon. We are back… I remember this day probably more than the others only because it was discovered that during the first day of surgery a vein of mine had blown so the line they were using to put in pain relief was working but couldn’t be used anymore and it was the pain team’s decision to see how I could manage without it. Funnily enough, I was braver than even I expected I pushed myself probably the most I have ever and walked and walked and walked up and down my room into the bathroom and out, they said the more you walk the more you pee. I yelled at my dad, he held my hand and we were up and down the ward, I think I did it about 50 times. Every single time I stood up and pushed my legs forward I desperately held back vomit. If you ever have experience such pain that engulfs your being leaving you with a feeling of numbness, darkness and the body’s elicited a response of nausea and vomit – then you know what I am talking about. I leaned on the wall I leaned on the bed and screamed when it hurt just a little too much but then driven by  nothing other than these words “this time it has to work”

I swallowed whatever paracetamol level pain relief they allowed for me and I was walking again

the more you walk the less it will hurt

the more you walk the less it will hurt

the more

you walk

I remember I never cried not once through this whole process. I told myself this is going to work, this kidney will work, nothing will go wrong. This is it. This is what I have been waiting for, if they say walk, I will.. if they say jump, I will.  I will do anything I had to do, and if you know me you will know letting go of fentanyl and letting go of the pain pump was harder than you would believe.

I cant sleep. I am exhausted but I can’t sleep. Why wont anyone call me. What does everyone out there think I am doing. I am here, you just cant come see me but I’m ready for you all, I’m ready to show you how healthy I am, its finally happened. I am okay and I’m coming to show you what I can do, who I can be and how I am not a waste of space.

Day Four: 28th July 2017


I have not slept properly in what feels like forever. The only way to sleep is to exhaust myself into a slumber or even worse prescribe myself into a sleep through the gift of medication.  I am getting tired of this at this point, there is nothing for me to do I am lonely because I need to be isolated but I am happy and moody all at the same time. I walk into the bathroom of my isolation room and spend a decent hour staring at myself everything looks different there is a huge scar I can barely lift my shirt up without wanting to cry although there is no pain there is a sense of accomplishment laced at this moment, there is nothing existing in the world except me and this fragment of a being trapped inside of me. Where did you come from? Who do you truly belong to? I cant see this kidney, but I know it is huge the scar spanning 20cm+, I stare into the mirror and suddenly everything feels surreal as if I am floating watching myself and wondering how I got here and is this even real. My face looks blurry, my eyes cant comprehend what it is staring at because I’ve never known such pain to be so incredible and yet all at the same time to feel so good.

Imagine what it must be like to know and see that something is inside of you but at the same time feel so disconnected from it, as if you and it do not belong together but have been brought so by some miracle. As much as you want to feel that it is a part of you, you know it is not and as you trace the outline of its bulge with the tips of your fingers, cradling it around your palm it’s inside you but it is not yours. It’s a bittersweet concept but a very important one.

If you feel just for a second that this is yours all will be lost because knowing that this kidney is not yours to have but to borrow reminds you that you are responsible to take care of it more than it is there to take care of you. I do not own this kidney, someone lent it to me and I have to do everything in my power to ensure we live together as best as we can, I cant for a second believe it will solve all my problems.

Kidney transplants are not the cure, they are only another form of a treatment.  I am ready though, to show you I can do this whatever it takes.





Transplant Recipient: My first four days of freedom

 I got a taste of freedom, it tasted like a lot of morphine, viles of fentanyl and a whole lot of energy. Guess it is my turn to tell you a little about my amazingly short four days in hospital walking in with two peanut shaped dead kidneys and walking away with three kidneys.  I won’t lie, Leah writes better than me and has a far better recollection of what happened. I’ve been hiding from writing because I’m still in disbelief any of this really happened. My name is Denny, and […]

Continue Reading

“Vulnerability is the bridge that connects us”

    There’s a high chance I won’t share this, mostly it’s just for me to get it out before it eats at me slowly but surely. I think it’s tough when you have spent years living a type of nightmare but it’s become so real you have convinced yourself this is how normal people dream- then all of a sudden you experience a real dream and you are unsure how to react. Maybe it’s just a natural thing to have something positive happen to you or around you […]

Continue Reading

“Not Your Average Law Student”

Hey friends! A few weeks ago, to celebrate the end of the year, I was asked to write an article in our University of Auckland Law School’s student magazine. I struggled to put together a short piece about myself which same time would help gear students for their upcoming exams. I’ve never found writing anything this difficult – because the truth is, I may pretend to know what I am doing – but mostly I stumble from one day, one hospital bed, one lecture or one event to the […]

Continue Reading

A donor’s story: Continued…

Day Two – Three:  I drifted in and out of consciousness… After buzzing the nurses over and over again about my pain, I finally found out that there had been some kind of mix up and someone didn’t give me the pain pump I was supposed to come out of surgery with. That explained the pain. After hours of waiting they eventually brought me the pump but I didn’t find it did anything for me. I think I had gone too long without it. The rest of the night […]

Continue Reading

A Donors Story: “Today I donated my kidney”

To celebrate three months post surgery I have put together a special series of posts. Ready to hear what it’s like to donate a kidney? Our author is Leah,  the amazing girl who donated her kidney to a stranger- so that I would receive a kidney from someone else. Have a read of her first days in hospital.  Stay tuned for the rest of her story then FOLLOWING is my four days post-surgery. Thanks for sharing your ‘donor story’ Leah! – Denny    PART ONE: The First Two days […]

Continue Reading

One Month and Three Kidneys Later…

Waking up in ICU The lights were quite dim and I could only hear slight voices in the far distance, something about lungs. lungs… right lung…? slow…? collapsed…? While I sat there racking my brain, didn’t I have a kidney transplant?  What lungs, whats going on? eyes closed. Pain. More pain. I was drifting in and out of consciousness up in the highest room of the hospital, the ICU (intensive care unit) which is where all transplant patients are sent to spend their first few hours bonding with their […]

Continue Reading

Day of surgery: See you on the other side

24th July 2017: Flying Kidneys + My big break  So the day had finally come, nearly 10 years of dialysis, over 50 surgeries later and I was finally ready for the biggest day of my life.The entire night before I couldn’t sleep, I kept waking up and forgetting where I was and then panicking and trying to sleep some more.Saying goodbye to my old life and hello to freedom  The First Operations: 6.30am – So first my friend, Leah (my angel donor) woke up at 6.30am, and got prepped and […]

Continue Reading

The greatest gift and Pre-admission to Hospital

23rd July 2017: Pre-admission + the kidney chain + surprise throat infections I packed my bags, some books and a whole bunch of crap that I basically never touched anxiously waiting to get this whole thing on the road. So the real question was and will always be= who donated their kidney to me? The answer= I have no clue. It was actually a type of chain..   It involved 4 people, 2 kidneys, 2 planes and the longest day of my life (intrigued yet?!). So here is what was about […]

Continue Reading

Day Four: Counting down my days on dialysis

So currently sitting on a couch (that’s me ^), on what could possibly be the second to last dialysis session I have before next week’s ‘big event’. So I’ve decided that before I go any further I have to tell you all a little bit about my dialysis machine. Apologies if this sounds like a lesson in biology and chemistry, I’ve made it as simple as I can. WHY DO I NEED DIALYSIS? A dialysis machine in simple terms replacing SOME of the functions of our kidneys for people […]

Continue Reading