Woman waits for kidney transplant

Megan Jonas depends on dialysis which is keeping her alive. Without a kidney and pancreas transplant, she faces an uncertain future.
Megan Jonas depends on dialysis which is keeping her alive. Without a kidney and pancreas transplant, she faces an uncertain future. Karleila Thomsen

WITHOUT a kidney and pancreas transplant, Megan Jonas faces years of dialysis and an uncertain future.

Megan, 33, is in the final stages of kidney failure and depends on dialysis to keep her alive.

She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 10 years old but it wasn't until 2007 that the condition really started to impact her health.

Megan was living in Brisbane and was visiting her parents in Bundaberg when she started feeling tired and unwell.

Her legs started to swell up, a sign of decreased kidney function, and her parents rushed her to Bundaberg Hospital.

She was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome, a disorder of the kidneys, and she was told her kidneys were functioning at 47%.

Today her kidneys are functioning at 8 or 9%.

Megan, who was studying nursing and would like to help others in the same position she was in, shared her story to encourage everyone who was able to sign up to the national organ register and discuss their decision with their families.

She said while most people told her they intended to sign up or they wanted to donate their organs, people were short of time or didn't realise that making it official and discussing it with their families could make a big difference in the situation.

The family of a deceased person still had the final say over organ donation, so discussing the decision was a critical factor.

Megan has been on the waiting list for an organ donation for two-and-a-half years and said she was confident she would get the transplant she needed.

What lies ahead was troubling but she knew undergoing the organ transplant was the only choice she had in the long term.

"It is a bit scary.

"It's a fairly big operation.

"But without it, my kidneys will totally fail."

To find out more about becoming an organ donor, phone 1800 777 203.

Topics:  kidney transplant organ donation

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