LIFE-SAVING: Luke and his brother, Garth on the day after his transplant
LIFE-SAVING: Luke and his brother, Garth on the day after his transplant Contributed

Organ transplant changes this man's life

ROCKHAMPTON man Luke Rose had a kidney transplant last month. It was the second one he has had in his life.

Luke was diagnosed with a kidney disease at the age of two.

His kidneys were regularly monitored through specialist appointments in Rockhampton and Brisbane but when he was 26-years-old, his kidneys inevitably gave up.

The Emmaus College graduate began dialysis three times a week for four hours at a time.

Then in October 2007, his mum, Rosemary Rose, gave him the best gift of his life - her kidney.

 

Luke Rose and his mother Rosemary Rose, who gave him the gift of life 10 years ago - her own kidney.
Luke Rose and his mother Rosemary Rose, who gave him the gift of life 10 years ago - her own kidney. Chris Ison ROK090118corgandonati

All was going well until 2016 when Luke began to feel unwell.

In October, he got the news - his transplanted kidney had failed.

The news wasn't a shock - the average lifespan of a kidney is eight to 12 years.

"We knew it wasn't a cure, it is a relief from a dialysis machine for however long it lasts," Luke said.

Luke went back on dialysis and waited on the transplant list.

 

Luke Rose with his dialysis machine.
Luke Rose with his dialysis machine. Chris Ison ROK090118corgandonati

Three weeks ago, Luke got a phone call in the middle of the night.

It was at 12.59am to be exact.

The pathologist from Rockhampton Hospital was on the line to tell Luke there was a donor kidney on its way to Princess Alexander Hospital from New South Wales for him.

Luke was so excited he jumped on his 14-year-old son Jayden's bed to tell him the news.

"I was shocked to be honest, I didn't get back to sleep," he said.

After making some early phone calls to his boss to say he wouldn't be coming to work, the QantasLink customer service officer still headed to the Rockhampton Airport - with a one way ticket to Brisbane first thing that morning.

That afternoon, Luke underwent surgery.

Unfortunately, the kidney didn't "kick in" straight away and 10 days later Luke had severe abdominal pain.

After extensive tests, doctors discovered there was a leak where Luke's urethra connects to his bladder and he would need another surgery.

This surgery was a success and Luke hopes to be discharged from hospital today.

He will have to remain in Brisbane in hospital unit accommodation for the next eight to 10 weeks to be close by the hospital for appointments.

 

Luke Rose and his son Jayden, nine days post transplant.
Luke Rose and his son Jayden, nine days post transplant. Contributed

Luke is grateful for the time he will get back now, not being constricted to be near a dialysis machine all the time.

This limited a lot of things he could do, with a holiday not being an option. The best he could do was go away for a weekend. "I didn't let it run my life," he said.

"I still worked, I still went to the gym, I still did social sport.

"Just running through my head the things I can do now, not having being attached to a machine every second day."

While this kidney may fail, Luke is not concerned.

"Not really, I will take it as it comes," he said.

"When it happens it does."

Luke's biggest message from his life-long journey was to plead with others to discuss their donor wishes with their family.

Once a person has passed away, while they may have registered as a donor, it is ultimately up the family members to say yes or no.



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