Kidney Transplant Recipient
83-year-old Mike Gibbons currently lives near Skipton with his wife Ann. A keen sportsman, his life has revolved around sport and the great outdoors. He was shocked to be diagnosed with pending kidney failure at the age of 55.
“It was a bolt from the blue. Initially, I wasn’t really aware of any side effects or symptoms and I just continued with my life as usual. I suppose I was hoping the diagnosis had been a mistake. However, as time went by, I inevitably began to experience nausea and a reduction of energy – and I knew the moment for dialysis must have arrived.”
In 2005, Mike chose to embark on peritoneal dialysis as it meant he could undergo the treatment himself in the comfort of his home. He recalls a senior nurse mentioning the Transplant Games when he first started dialysis, but given his immediate concerns about his health, he didn’t give the Games much thought. In the meantime, he was placed on the transplant waiting list.
Time went by while Mike waited for a compatible match. He described his time on the list as a waiting game.
“It was definitely frustrating at times. My wife Ann was by my side the entire time, and she shared my feelings about the process. She could see how much the wait was impacting my life and I couldn’t live to the fullest. She insisted she would donate one of her own kidneys, but I didn’t want her to go through the distress of the operation.”
However, two years later in 2007, Mike decided to accept Ann’s offer of a kidney. Eleven years on from the operation, both Ann and Mike are still in good health, and Mike describes his life as ‘reborn’.
Since the operation, he has taken part in the Transplant Games several times and continues his regime of sporting activities.
“Ann accepts that I will eventually hang up my running shoes and rackets,” he says. “But it’s not that time yet!”