Based In Birmingham
Martin SearleTransplant Patient
I was in Hallam Hospital in West Bromwich, in 1975 when I was 7 years old, I was diagnosed with the same genetic, hereditary disease as some of my family members, Alports Syndrome. From 1975 to 1996, I lived a perfectly normal and active life, taking part in various sporting activities, challenges as well as competitive achievements along the way. In 1996, my GP was doing an annual MOT and found my blood pressure was a lot higher than it should have been. This is when the Renal Doctors at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham started working me up for Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD). This type of dialysis consists of four exchanges every day of a solution which filtrates unwanted toxins from my blood. Each exchange takes about an hour, including all the hygienic processes before the exchange and after. The exchanges are spread throughout the day. The fluid stays in for about four hours and when it’s time for the next exchange this fluid is drained out and the next bag drained in. All through this period of dialysis and having had my first kidney transplant, I continued to working full time as a Sales Representative, juggling my dialysis exchanges when required throughout the day.
British Transplant Games
I’ve taken part in all the British Transplant Games from 1999, which was in Birmingham, right up until my first kidney transplant failed in 2011, except the British Transplant Games in 2003 which took place in North Staffordshire. I’d broken my ankle at the time so I couldn’t take part! In 2011, I started CAPD for a second time and continued virtually problem-free until my second transplant in July 2015. There isn’t a day that goes by without thinking of my donors, even though I’ve never met the families that had to decide about donating their loved one’s organs. I’ll be eternally grateful for their kind thoughts.
Ever since I was 18 I’ve enjoyed sports and done many charity events along the way, including a 24 hour snookathon in 2002 that raised over £600 for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham’s Renal Department and our Team. Since 2004, I’ve helped the Managers of the Birmingham Adult Transplant Sport Team right up until September 2018 when I was given the role myself. Since going to the British Transplant Games, I’ve met some amazing people who have had transplants as well as others who haven’t but wanted to be involved in some way. I’ve even met some great celebrities over the years as well. I’ve seen some amazing sporting events and competitions at these prestigious Games. It’s because of everything I’ve seen and done that I’ll be committing myself to enhance awareness of Organ Donation where ever I can as well as promoting the need for many more people to become part of the Organ Donation process. I’ll also enjoy my time as Manager of our great team for Transplant sport and look forward to the challenges along the way.
Without Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham’s spectacular specialists it wouldn’t be possible to do what I’m doing now. I’d like to say a huge thank you to them. It’s their care and encouragement of my wife and children that give me the inspiration to carry on being positive with everything I’m able to do.
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