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An anonymous kidney donation has given Belmont’s Ebony Holmes the gift of motherhood after a life-changing transplant six years ago.
Ebony’s health issues began in 2002 as a 16-year-old with a diagnosis of Henoch-Schönlein purpure, a disease causing small, raised areas of under-skin bleeding, often with joint and abdominal pains.
Ebony then developed rare kidney disease IgA nephropathy, requiring a transplant donation from her father.
“It happened so quickly,” she said during DonateLife Week from 30 July to 6 August.
“I was lucky Dad was compatible, but within three or four years I had a kidney infection and started getting sick again. In 2010, my kidney completely failed, and I was really sick, throwing up and in hospital for three weeks doing dialysis.
“I chose to do nocturnal dialysis at home, which I did for a year until I got the call for another kidney transplant from an anonymous donor, just before my 30th birthday.”
The operation was a success, improving Ebony’s overall health enough to start a family.
“It’s changed my life. I never would’ve been able to have my son, which is all I ever wanted.
“I still get really emotional about it, but I’m so grateful.
“If you ever see someone having an organ failure or stuck on dialysis, they’re going through so much that you’d do anything to help them.
“Donors give eight people a lease on life. That’s really a lot, and you can’t take your organs with you.”
More than 1400 Australians need transplants, according to Australia’s organ and tissue authority.
One in three Australians were on the organ donor register although 81 per cent believed registering was important, Barwon Health said.
“Nine in 10 families agreed to donation proceeding when the deceased is a registered organ donor. This drops to just 52 per cent where the deceased was not registered and the family had no prior knowledge.”
Barwon Health advised anyone “willing to save lives” as an organ and tissue donor to discuss the decision with family and friends before registering at register.donatelife.gov.au.

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