01 December 2017

Capetonian woman receives life-saving kidney from her dad

This healthy young woman’s life was flipped upside down in a day after being diagnosed with kidney failure.

This healthy young woman’s life was flipped upside down in a day after being diagnosed with kidney failure.

Last year October, Amina Parker, from Kensington in Cape Town, started battling with exhaustion, nausea, and migraines but thought it was due to stress and anxiety she’d experienced at work.

“Being in a stressful work environment and working overtime every day made me ignore my initial symptoms as I thought I suffered from anxiety and fatigue due to my workload,” Amina told YOU. “But this wasn’t the case.”

When her symptoms persisted the concerned 24-year-old consulted a doctor, who ran a full set of blood tests.

Amina, who is a digital marketing manager, wasn’t ready for the news she was about to receive.

She was at a bridal shower when she received a phone call from her doctor requesting that she immediately come to the hospital because there was an “issue” with her kidneys.

“Fast forward a few hours, factor in another blood test and a lot of patience while waiting for the emergency doctor to come and see me.

“I was told my creatinine levels were incredibly high due to my kidneys failing and that I’d need to be a lot more careful with what I eat going forward,” Amina says.

A post shared by Amina Parker (@amiiparker) on

She was stunned hearing her diagnosis and tried her best to make sense of the situation she found herself in, Amina says.

“I was shocked. I couldn't understand how this had happened when I was a perfectly healthy 23-year-old at the time.

“I went from being healthy to having 13 percent kidney function in a day. I couldn't really wrap my head around why and how this had happened.

“The toughest part about everything is that the doctors couldn’t find a cause for my kidney failure and up until today they still have no idea why they failed,” she says.

A post shared by Amina Parker (@amiiparker) on

Specialists told Amina, who’s been on dialysis, she needed a kidney transplant and that’s when her entire household offered to donate one of their kidneys to her.

Her parents and three siblings all were tested and luckily both her dad and eldest brother were a match.

“But both needed to lose weight in order to donate. My father lost enough weight and they started doing all the tests.

“When I found out that he was a good match to donate, I was very relieved. I started counting down the days till my transplant. I was so relieved that I wouldn’t need to do dialysis anymore,” she says. 

Amina had her kidney transplant in November and says her recovery has gone “very well”.

“The doctors are very happy with my results and my father’s kidney is doing wonders.

“My numbers have all stabilised and even my blood pressure is starting to come down quite a bit.

“The one tough part about recovery is getting used to the anti-rejection medication as you take more than 15 tablets a day and they all have their own side effects. Other than that, I feel amazing,” she says.

A post shared by Amina Parker (@amiiparker) on

After her diagnosis, Amina, who had to change her diet and daily activities, started her blog “The girl with kidney failure” to raise awareness of the condition.

“I decided I wanted to create awareness around kidney failure,” she says.

“I also couldn’t find many real-life stories online to relate to, which is why I started the blog. “





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