Gospel entertainer Gerry Wainaina has been waiting for close to three years for a kidney transplant.
In an interview with Mpasho, Gerry details his journey and the ups and down of the wait.
How are you feeling now?
I am recuperating quite well more energetic than before. Indoors till three months are over
What was going through your mind when you finally got the donor that matched?
It was long coming. It was the third year of doing vigorous dialysis never received any call. But this year started on a high when I received the first call, the kidney ended up not being mine, on my birthday, I received my second call that also ended up still in premium tears but the third call that was in less than a week later came and I was told they'll confirm next day. They didn't call as they promised, they called three days later and confirmed it was my match. Jubilation and overwhelming joy hit me all at once I couldn't hold my cool.
It has been a long wait, what kept you going?
I had to have faith till I make it...here in Washington, you get on the transplant list and as long as you remain healthy it's almost guaranteed you'll get a deceased donor between 3-5 years but I'll promise you it's nerve-wracking to wait for unknown.
Did you at any point ever give up?
Yes, I did feel like giving up but my internal positive vibe picked me up. Also, genuine people around me not forgetting the unwavering support of family kept me going. I decided to see the gain instead of pain and accept things I can't change.
What are some of the lessons you learnt during this journey?
The greatest lesson I have learned is, anyone can give life even in death it's taboo to speak about death but I was given my new kidney by an anonymous person for free. It's the culture here in the US. It's illegal to sell organs, what you can do is consent to donating them while you are alive; there are many things you can donate like a kidney - you can function with one perfectly -, blood, platelets, cells, etc but when you die you can donate your cornea, lungs, heart, kidneys. So writing a will is a good thing for the government to facilitate if one is a donor or not. From my life experience, I don't see the need to die with working organs to be ants food or even be stolen at the morgue.
Anything else you would like to add?
Get annual checks, most if not all diseases are curable if not preventable. Early diagnosis is good, eat healthily, get into exercise routines like walking and drinking three litres of water daily. Kidney failure doesn't have a cure both dialysis and transplant just elongate your life.