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Renal patient pays thanks to the 'tireless' staff who have helped his family over the years

Mother and son renal patients

A man whose mother received two kidney transplants, and then had to undergo the same surgery, has paid thanks to the ‘tireless’ staff at Morriston Hospital – from clinicians to cleaners.

Chris Davies received a kidney transplant after inheriting a kidney condition from his mother, Kathryn Woolley.

Kathryn, a nurse at Cimla Hospital for almost 30 years, herself underwent two kidney transplants within 13 years before her death last year aged 74.

Having experienced years of dialysis before receiving a new kidney a decade ago, the 49-year-old has heaped praise upon the medical teams which have supported his family over the years.

He said: “The care in Morriston is second to none. The staff there are tireless. You are really looked after – it is almost like going in to see your family”.

Chris had polycystic kidneys, which sees cysts grow on the kidney and eventually prevent them from functioning correctly. There is no treatment, and it is managed by medication, unless a transplant is available.

He has undergone surgery to receive a new kidney.

Chris said: “When you are younger you think you are bullet proof, and that you will be ok. I would miss my medication, but later it comes and bites you on the bum.

“It feels like someone driving over you in a small car. Standing hurts. Lying down hurts. It presses against your back area.

Chris, who works for Europcar and lives in Swansea, said, with help from hospital staff, he has educated himself on how best to manage his care. But he remains grateful to everyone who has helped him over the years.

He said: “My transplant took place at University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, but after that I transferred to Morriston where I was given a care package.

“I was dying to get back to Morriston, as I was familiar with it. I know everyone up there – there have been times when I almost haven’t wanted to go home!

“I have so much gratitude for the hard-working staff. Not just the renal staff, but the whole hospital; from the receptionists and the cleaners to the clinical staff. They all make sure you are listened to.

“I broke my wrist at Christmas while walking my dog. I had to go to A&E and faced a long wait, but people have to realise what goes on behind the scenes – everything impacts how services are delivered.

“And without the care and attention I’ve received, I would not be here.”

Chris’ mother Kathryn died last year having suffered a stroke in 2022.

“She had a transplant in 2019, just before the pandemic, and she was sitting up in a chair on the same day – we were amazed,” said Chris.

“She came home from hospital after her stroke in January last year, and my stepfather John looked after her.

“The whole family is so grateful to the care that was shown to her.

“When I hear people moan about hospitals, they should also realise how good it is. We would be in real trouble without the NHS.”

Following his mother’s death, the family invited mourners to make donations to the Renal Department at Morriston Hospital in lieu of flowers, raising £75.

World Kidney Day is an annual campaign to help raise awareness of kidneys and show the suffering caused when they don’t work properly. It also aims to educate people on what kidneys do and how to improve your kidney health. This year it takes place on Thursday, March 14. 

Follow this link to the World Kidney Day website



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