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Bringing The Personal To Parliament – Kidney Research UK – Renal.PlatoHealth.ai

An act of kindness

It’s at this point in the interview that Khalid chokes up. So talkative up to now, he is almost lost for words to describe how he felt about Siôn’s act of kindness.  

“He was really unbelievable,” he says. “He just literally said ‘I want to do it for you.’ He said ‘If you don’t want to do it, give me your consultant’s number and I’ll sort it out myself’.  

“Luckily, he was a very fit person, his kidney was brilliant, he was on no medication at all prior to that, not even paracetamol, which really surprised the doctors.” 

Siôn got ‘the full roasting’ of psychotherapy to ensure he was in the best place mentally and emotionally to donate. “And I had to be prepared too, the transplants don’t always work,” says Khalid. “I was very lucky that it did, and Siôn was brilliant throughout that.” 

Nine years on, Khalid’s friendship with Siôn is stronger than ever and his kidney is faring well. Under the watchful eye of his wife (to whom he is also profoundly grateful), he takes good care of his diet, drinks plenty of water and continues his crucial lifelong adherence to his immunosuppressant regime. Khalid is very aware his could have been a different story and feels his experiences have brought him increased empathy, improving his work as an MP. 

“I think if the transplant had not come through it would have been a different game,” he acknowledges. “I would have gradually got weaker. Going on dialysis is not necessarily the easiest thing to do. You have blood pressure drops which can cause you quite considerable health anxiety as well. I often fell over. You have to realise how vulnerable you are. It was difficult after all that period of being on dialysis just trying to climb steps and do those sort of things. I realised how difficult it is for disabled people who are not supported properly. You have to recognise that a lot of people have to deal with these things every day of their lives.”