Dialysis patient Yvonne Prempeh, received a lifeline in March 2021 when she was offered a new kidney.
Basildon resident Yvonne, was on the transplant list for one year prior to her operation at The Royal London Hospital on 31 March, due to long term high blood pressure. Her operation was the first living donor transplant undertaken since mid-December 2020 due to the hospital treating high numbers of patients with Covid-19 and putting a hold on elective surgery to cope with the demand.
Yvonne shared: “In November 2020 I had a match from a deceased donor, but unfortunately there were some complications. A month later I received another match from a live donor.”
Yvonne works in the catering department at Basildon Hospital, but has been on long term leave due to shielding. She said: “Due to Covid-19 a couple of my surgery dates were cancelled.
“When the time came to visit The Royal London it was a brilliant experience. There were safety measures put in place to make everyone feel safe, including a Covid-19 test prior to admission and regular testing on the ward.
“I was at The Royal London for one week and everyone was so kind and caring. The nurses and doctors are professional and really know what they are doing, it was the best experience I’ve ever had at a hospital.”
Consultant general, transplant and vascular access surgeon, Ismail H Mohamed is one of the surgeons who carried out Yvonne’s transplant. He said: “It is truly a privilege to be able to offer and deliver our transplant programme to our population. We always put patients and families at the centre of what we do.
“The transplant team at the Royal London is like one big happy family, we love what we do and take great pride in working with each other daily. The programme is expanding and growing stronger, and it is patients like Yvonne who spur us to do even better.”
Victoria Dunsmore, transplant clinical nurse specialist, is also part of the team who looked after Yvonne. She said: “Yvonne was very patient during the process of organising her transplant surgery, there were several delays along the way.
“It was very difficult not being able to offer transplantation to our patients during the pandemic. It’s a privilege to be involved in transplantation again and it truly is a team effort. From the living donor teams, surgical teams, medical team, inpatient and outpatient teams; everyone’s contribution is vital to ensure success.”
At the time of Yvonne’s admission the hospital had Covid-19 visitor restrictions in place to reduce the risk of infection: “I wasn’t allowed any visitors, but the ward staff always had time to chat and keep me company, they also offered assistance to call my family and friends.
“Since being discharged my recovery has gone really well, I am receiving weekly physiotherapy to progress my mobility and have been reassured by the doctors at my follow up appointments that I am doing great.”