Jill Gilks and her Donor Sister Penny Evans
Jill from the northern beaches of Sydney had a rare anatomical abnormality – she was missing some of her organs, including her right kidney. At the age of 66 when her renal condition started to get worse, a transplant was the recommended course of action. But where would she find a donor.
Unfortunately immediate family in Sydney and Australia were not compatible as donors and hence Jill’s extended family were asked. This is a difficult conversation and one that proves challenging to many.
Some patients choose to ask directly whilst others appoint a “donor champion” within the circle of family and friends to discuss the current predicament and whether anyone is contemplating donation.
Jill’s sister (Penny) in the UK proved to be a suitable donor. This process required Penny to undergo some basic tests in the UK to ensure that she could safely give up one kidney. The costs of flights and accommodation ensued and then Penny embarked on the remainder of her workup in Sydney. Her health care costs in Australia were covered on Jill’s medicare number. Penny stayed in Australia for about 3 months and then returned to the UK where she remains well.
The Manly Daily covered Jill’s wonderful story and how her she found a new kidney. You can read the story with thanks to the Manly Daily.