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Celebrating 40 years…

By March 14, 20193 Comments

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Barbara De Ridder ‘s transplant.

Here’s her reflection on reaching this milestone. Congratulations Barbara from everyone at Transplant Australia.


On the 14/03/1979 a completely unexpected call came telling me to come into RPAH hospital immediately as I was going to have a transplant. We were completely unprepared as it had not been discussed with us unlike transplants today. I was born with one tiny little kidney that had got me through until I was 27 but decided it had had enough .

 The early days were quite an experience with a new regime to get used to of daily clinic visits & the dreaded prednisone. But despite my many mood swings and the trips to hospital we all survived.

 I went back to work for Australia post & eventually retired when we decided to foster children.

In 1988 I competed for NSW in the inaugural Transplant games in Melbourne, winning the first Womans Singles Gold in Lawn Bowls & a silver in the mixed triples.

In 1993 the lovely Brian Donovan told me I needed to compete in the world games in Canada as he had gone to a lot of trouble to get lawn bowls in. I managed a silver that time. 

Since then I have competed in 7 National games & 3 World managing medals in them all in lawn bowls & also a couple in 10 pin.

 I have had a couple of hiccups over the years, one involving having a stent in my heart & in 2001 having to have a permanent colostomy. The colostomy was a Godsend as it allowed me to travel to Europe & the UK, do a River cruise in Europe  and a Pacific island cruise as well as two trips to NZ. 

These days we live a slower life in beautiful Burrum Heads, QLD, but I would never have had any of these opportunities if not for the unselfish  gift from an unknown donor. Thank You never seems quite enough. I also had the greatest family support a person could hope for, something that you need. I also have to thank Professor John Horvath who constantly bullied me & kept me going when at times I didn’t want to & also Professor David Johnson who has up until recently put up with me. But most of all I thank God for putting the right people in my life at the right time.

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Simon Gooden says:

    Dear Barbara, many congratulations. My name is Simon Gooden, I am from Lockhart N.S.W., 40 miles west of Wagga Wagga but I have been living on The Isle of Wight, just off the coast from Portsmouth UK since 1994. I was born with one dodgy kidney and I lasted with the help of Doctors and medication until the age of 14. Prince Henry Hospital was where we always went to. Luckily only short spells on a kidney machine. First Transplant February 1976, lasted 8 years, back on machine for a short time , 14 months and lucky again, got the call. 1986 2nd Transplant, found a very lovely lady not long after. We have to wonderful children. There have been a lot of ups and downs but luckily mostly ups. My 2nd Transplant lasted just over 30 years, we had a huge party, but we did know it was on it’s way out. Luckily again I dodged the kidney machine . My very lovely sister who does live in Australia said she wanted to give me one of hers. It took 7 months to organise, but in June 2016 my sister, along with her husband and our mum flew over to the UK. So now happy and healthy on my 3rd Transplant. Life is good, there are so many wonderful days to be had and you meet so many wonderful people. I enjoy every single day. I am turning 60 this year, they didn’t I would make 2. There’s going to be another party. I consider my self a very lucky boy. Hope you stay healthy.

  • John Marius Nelson says:

    Happy Kidneyvesary XL

  • Barbara De Ridder m says:

    Hi John , Have only just seen this
    Thanks for your kind words. We are truly blessed. I pray you will continue to keep well.God bless Barb

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