Kidney recipient appeals to residents to become donors

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A man, who has a new lease on life after being the recipient of a kidney eight years ago, is calling on residents to extend the “gift of love” and become kidney donors now that Antigua & Barbuda has completed two successful transplants.

Lionel “Max” Hurst, who now holds one of the country’s most prominent positions — the government’s chief of staff– described the gift of a kidney as a “generous gift”.

He said the person donating the organ “cannot be compelled. It must be donated and must be completely voluntary, and an act of love”.

Kidney transplants are normally advised for people who are in end-stage kidney failure and rely on dialysis to remove toxins and unwanted water from the blood that the damaged organs would otherwise remove from the body.

Donors are normally able to enjoy normal lives, with only about a 5 per cent risk of surgical complications during the procedure to harvest the kidney.

Individuals with kidney damage normally have to undergo dialysis three times per week; have to conform to a restrictive diet and way of life.

Hurst, who received the kidney from his sister in 2008 in a New York hospital, said the procedure would have cost him over US $200,000 had he not have insurance.

The chief of staff now has three kidneys.

More in today’s Daily Observer.

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