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Friday August 23, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Friday August 23, 2013 MYT 7:53:28 AM
by cavina lim
All smiles: Loong (second from right) posing with (from left) Dr Teo, Bukit Mertajam Hospital visitors’ board director Tan Lee Huat and Dr Neoh after the seminar at the Bukit Mertajam Hospital, Penang.
BUKIT MERTAJAM: He was placed on an organ transplant waiting list for nine years.
When he finally became a kidney recipient, Loong Sek Chuan thanked the heavens for the gift of life.
The 23-year-old high-spirited bachelor suffered a bladder infection a few months after he was born, and this caused his kidneys to fail when he was just 10.
He thought that there was no longer hope for him to lead a normal life.
“The doctors told my mother that my kidneys would only function until I reached the age of 10 and that I would have renal failure if I did not get a kidney transplant. My mum was devastated. I was too young to understand the situation then,” he said.
Loong’s condition had required him to undergo dialysis by using the Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) method, which he said prevented him from “doing normal things and eating freely”.
“For nine years, I did CAPD four times a day. Each session can take up to an hour. I could not really enjoy life to the fullest but I admit that I am still much better off than other patients,” said the second of three siblings.
Loong has an elder sister aged 25 and a younger brother aged 16 who lead healthy lives.
Earlier, he was speaking about his experiences as an organ recipient at the Organ and Tissue Donation Seminar 2013, which was organised by Bukit Mertajam Hospital.
Loong expressed his gratitude to his donor, someone whom he only knows as an 18-year-old boy from Sabah.
“I have never met my donor’s family but if I could, I would thank them personally.
“Because of this gift of life, I can sleep well at night and I am able to urinate normally. These are life’s luxuries which I will never take for granted. I still need to take my medication but, I am able to enjoy life better now as I can do things such as playing sports,” he said.
The seminar, aimed at increasing awareness on the importance of organ and tissue donation among the public, was officiated by state health department deputy director Dr Mohamad Sabri Othman.
Among those present were National Transplant Resource Centre chief national clinical manager Datin Dr Lela Yasmin Mansor, Bukit Mertajam Hospital TOP (tissue and organ procurement) team chairman and anaesthetic expert Dr Neoh Eu Bryan and hospital director Dr Teo Gim Sian.
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