Tuesday, 31 July 2012

It's a match!

I received the call we were all waiting for today from Ray Trevitt from the Royal London Hospital; Pieter and I are an exact blood type match!

I never had any doubt that it would be, given how we met, but it's nice to hear it from an expert.

Ray told me that in addition to this, my kidneys look good and healthy from the test done so far. There needs to be more test to make sure my kidneys are both in good working condition so that each can function properly on it's own within Pieter and I. The next crucial tests will be the tissue match and cross-match tests.

Matching donors to recipient by type of tissue is desirable. The better the match, the greater the chances of the kidney transplant lasting a long time. A perfect match, however, is not essential.Tissue type is usually determined by looking at 6 different proteins in the body. Different people have different versions of these proteins. Since the number of possible tissue types is much more numerous than for blood groups, the chances of finding a perfect match is less than with matching blood groups. Doctors will usually consider doing a transplant if at least half of the donor's tissue-type proteins match the recipient's.

A cross-match is a blood test to ensure that the patient's antibodies doesn't reject the donor kidney. The test is done by mixing a sample of the patient's blood with cells from the donor's lymph nodes or spleen. If there is no reaction, the transplant can proceed.

I'm positive that this will all be a formality as we move towards getting Pieter back to good health. In the meantime he and Lizelle are away on a well deserved holiday, with very good news and Lizelle's birthday on Thursday to celebrate.

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