I had Kidney failure at the age of 33. My Kidneys failed due to high blood pressure over 8 years ago.

My world ended!

The Effects of Depression

I went into depression for 2 years and hated everyone. I was not a nice person.

During this time I started on Peritoneal Dialysis and lived in my dressing gown for days in a row. I was out drinking with the boys 3 nights a week and drank on average 10/11 pints of vodka & Red Bull! After 2 bouts of Peritonitis, the 3rd nearly killed me!

I was switched onto Haemodialysis and you’d expect me to change after 3 years. Nope, I still carried on only this time they had to remove 4-6 litres of fluid each session, as my body was that bad with Gout and Raynaud’s. Every session was painful to the point of passing out.

Running Too Hard

I got a job and I worked and travelled 80 hours per week for a year, as well as having dialysis in the evenings from 7-11:30 pm. Then I’d drive home for 4 hours of sleep before going off to work again at 04.30 am.

It was too much. At 37 years old, I had a full stroke which stopped my speech for 30 hours.

If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Another

It was then I was diagnosed with Endocarditis and a hole in a heart valve. Just to top it off I was also told the vegetation (the mass of bacteria and cells causing the problem) could come away at any time and kill me.

Bad yes, but it got worse. They couldn’t operate until the 6 weeks of antibiotic treatment was done. I was hoping to wake up every day. 

I eventually had the operation and was sent back to Royal Derby for 7 more months in hospital. Complications from the dialysis got so bad, I was told I would lose my finger and possibly my right hand. I had an unsuccessful operation to tie off the artery, and an operation to tie off the fistula and they put in a temporary one in the groin. 18 months of physiotherapy for the hand and fingers ensued.

The Last Minute Kidney Donor Provides A Miracle

I was released for weekend rushed back with hypertension. I couldn’t breathe. My wife was pulled aside and told “He has 30 minutes to improve or he will not last the night”.

Thanks to a kidney donor, I am still here now with a passion to help others and encourage them to toe the line and understand there is hope even when you want to give up!

Miracles and Support Provide Hope and Motivation!

During this time, my Mum had been very ill, but kept fighting until she knew my Kidney worked well. Three days after my Mum’s death, I turned 40.  I celebrate my mum’s life and her determination to do her best and never quit!

My first mile stone after getting my Kidney was to get out of bed on day 3 and walk 3.5 miles around the Nottingham City Hospital. My only focus at this point was the World Transplant Games!

When I was given the all-clear to train for my events it was a brilliant feeling. I could do sports again and compete with others.

I competed at the Transplant Team Racquets Event at Warrington/Widnes for Table Tennis where I shocked myself with 2 Silver Medals.

Racking Up The Hardware At The Transplant Games

The British Transplant Games in Newcastle/Gateshead later that year provided an incredible opportunity to be around so many special people that all had 1 thing in common: a Donated Organ. My Results from the games:

  • Bronze: 10 pin bowling, Archery, Table Tennis, Cricket ball throw
  • Silver: 4 x 100 Relay
  • Participation: Flat bowls

To compete in Argentina at the World Transplant Games was my next goal. Like all things related to Transplant, there were hurdles to get over, and I did!

I had my passport and my sponsor had just renewed his for the Games. He had the money for us both to go. My Doctors had given me the all clear, but my Sponsor/Stepdad was told categorically “Don’t fly”.

He told me, “You must go and do it for your mum”. He funded me and off I went.

The World Transplant Games were amazing and I got to hear lots of personal journeys over the 10 days from so many transplant recipients.

During the games – only 7 months after my Transplant, I achieved:

  • Gold: Tejo Pairs and Bowling Pairs
  • Personal Best: 100m Sprint and Cricket Ball Throw

The Gold Medals were for my Donor Family and my Mum! I must stress the amount of time and effort the Transplant Team put in for this whole event to happen “Thank You All”

After the World Transplant Games, I continue to participate in sporting competitions:

  • My mixed-ability volleyball team in Manchester got Bronze and I got a double torn hamstring. I was on crutches for 4 weeks but it was worth it to once again be able to say “I have a sports injury”.
  • I played in The Match for Life football tournament against ex-professionals (Christian Malcolm, AndyTodd, and Micky Flynn) to promote awareness for Organ Donation.
  • I had the opportunity to play against the Hollyoaks cast again to raise awareness of Organ Donation and show there are no boundaries.
  • The European Transplant Games in July gave me the chance to participate in the 3 major Transplant events within 18 months of my Transplant. I brought home: Silver in darts, Gold in Tenpin Bowling (Singles and Doubles), Bronze in Floorball and no medals in Table Tennis
  • At the British Transplant Games I was able compete in Archery (Gold), Tenpin Bowling (Gold), Volleyball (Silver), 5-Aside Football (Bronze)

My time is dedicated to inspiring all to be fit and healthy through showing what is possible by just doing something.

Life really is so precious, I know how fortunate I am and will carry on pushing to achieve more because I can. Many people will never have the opportunity. Sadly, too many have never had the chance.

You don’t have to be dead to give a kidney. A living donation lets you see what a massive change your donation has given that person for the rest of your life.

I cannot put into words the amazing change physically I have! My Donor and family have given me the chance to live again and for the first time I can now give my wife the husband she deserves.

Simon Elmore

Simon Elmore

Simon does talks about his transplant journey in colleges, universities, multi-faith groups, support groups, hospitals and schools, including multi-activity sports sessions too, where possible.

Live Life, Do!
Simon Elmore

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