A King’s Lynn man has spoken of trying to cope with life as a 41-year-old dad who has kidney failure.
George Richardson is surviving by taking a high dose of medication and has kidney dialysis three times a week at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
The father-of-two daughters believes he is the youngest patient on the hospital’s renal unit.
“I’m fading away. But I have never been healthy, it’s all I have known,” he said.
Mr Richardson, who married Penny, 43, in the summer, was born with damaged kidneys and underwent surgery to remove one before his first birthday.
He said: “I was told I wouldn’t make 11-years-old and then I was told I wouldn’t reach puberty. So when I got beyond my 20s I gave up listening.”
Mr Richardson’s remaining kidney failed when he was 25 and three years later, a donated organ was found.
Four years later, his body rejected the kidney and he suffered high blood pressure which caused a brain haemorrhage and seizures.
He has been on the transplant list for eight years, but his only hope now is to receive a kidney from a living donor.
Mr Richardson, who is on sick leave from his job as a warehouse operative, lives in constant pain and has to monitor what food he eats.
“Basically, I have to boil the life out of everything and can’t have any chocolate,” he said.
Mr Richardson said he was one of around 6,000 people waiting for a transplant.
He said: “I think you should automatically be on the donation register, but be able to opt out. I am on the register, as I can’t drink, I have a perfect liver.”
Mr Richardson said he was hopeful for the future although he felt doctors weren’t so confident.
“There’s always a chance,” he said.
Find out about organ donation at www.organdonation.nhs.uk/about-donation