Kitty resident seeks assistance for life-saving transplant surgery

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A 43-year-old man of William Street, Kitty, Georgetown, is seeking the public’s assistance to undergo a life-saving kidney transplant surgery.

Joel Semple, a former construction worker, was diagnosed with end-stage kidney failure due to hypertension in 2019. The father of two young girls is now surviving on dialysis treatment, which cleans his blood of waste and water, while he waits for the surgery.

During an interview with the News Room on Tuesday, Semple who lives alone explained that a donor has come forward but he needs financial assistance for a cross-match test, which will determine whether he is compatible with the donor.

“Two years ago, I found out my kidneys [was damaged… and my blood pressure was so high that it damaged my kidneys.

“I have a family friend, he promise to donate a kidney so it’s the funds I am trying to raise now to get my transplant done,” Semple said.

Semple said he was employed at MovieTowne at the time and began experiencing blurred vision. He went to get his eyes tested and was subsequently diagnosed with hypertension.

“The blood pressure was so high that they [Georgetown Hospital] [admitted me] for two and a half months and I fall into a coma for three days,” Semple recalled.

He said prior to the blurred vision, he had no indication he was suffering from high blood pressure. Since his diagnosis, Semple said he is being supported by a few friends and neighbours.

“Most friends and family didn’t really understand what was going on so it was me by myself trying to fight and survive,” Semple said. His children reside with their mother in Trinidad and Tobago.

Semple explained that the weekly dialysis treatment is also costly and has taken a financial toll on him.

“When I can’t afford dialysis and I take in, I does go to Georgetown Hospital and every month I does be in there like two weeks because I really cannot afford to pay dialysis two times a week and I really need it three times a week,” Semple explained.

Persons willing to assist Semple can contact him on +592 659 5535.

In Guyana, there is no legislation to govern human organ transplant surgeries, but over the last few months, a team has been meeting to put together the new legislation. This legislation – the Human Organ Transplant Bill – is expected to be presented in Parliament on or before May 2021. This legislation will greatly assist persons in dire need of transplants but have no donors and will also alleviate the financial burden of dialysis treatment.

It was recently revealed that over 150 patients access dialysis centres throughout the country of which 75 per cent are in need of a transplant.

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