MEDICAL COSTS: Some RM50,000 is needed for kidney transplant expenses for Rizal Razak Abdul Razak, whose wife Idora Baharudin is donating a kidney to him
KUALA LUMPUR: A WOMAN will be giving the greatest gift one could give to another — the gift of life — when she donates one of her kidneys to her husband, Rizal Razak Abdul Razak, 34, soon.
Idora Baharudin’s gesture of love will certainly be appreciated by Rizal, who was diagnosed with stage three kidney disease in 2010.
The couple, who were once neighbours, tied the knot in 2007.
Because of financial difficulties, they are seeking funds for the operation and other medical expenses.
They have three children aged 4, 2 and 10 months.
To raise funds, they recently organised A Walk, A Kidney, A Life at Padang Merbok, Jalan Parliament, here, which attracted some 200 participants.
Rizal, a former telecommunications engineer, quit his his job because of stress at work, only to discover later that he was suffering from kidney disease.
Homemaker Idora, 31, said the family needs at least RM50,000 to help pay for all the expenses before, during and after the transplant operation.
“I can’t hold a full-time job because I need to take care of my children and be there for my husband in case of an emergency.
“When my husband and I go for the operation, I would need to hire someone to take care of the children. I would also need someone to drive my husband for his hospital visits,” said Idora, who has a degree in accounting.
She set up a Facebook page in June to garner support from public.
“Many have been kind to us since then,” said Idora, who makes dolls for a living.
“People may say there are others leading hard lives with worse illnesses.
“But besides asking for help, I want to create awareness on kidney disease. I want people to learn how early detection can prevent kidney failure, and that it can happen to anyone,” she said.
In the early stages of the disease, Rizal said he often felt tired and fatigued, but did not pay much attention to the signs.
After quitting his job, he started an IT-related business, but decided to close it down when he learnt that he had kidney disease.
Job-seeking has since been a challenge, due to his medical condition.
recently he managed to secure a job which allowed him to take time off for his dialysis sessions, but with a pay cut.
Rizal discovered his kidneys were failing after a prolonged fever forced him to do a full medical check-up.
“I wish I had done regular health checks in the past. If a kidney patient is diagnosed at stage one, recovery can be faster.
“In most cases, doctors can even reverse the progress of the disease with early detection,” he said. Rizal also suffered from stomach ulcers, and had to have corrective surgery.
He almost died due to rectal bleeding during the operation.
“I was vomiting blood as well,” he said.
But he still has high hopes for full recovery after the kidney transplant.
Rizal said most of his time is spent on dialysis treatments, besides his new job.
“I have no time for leisure. I also can’t carry my children because of my fistula surgery for easy dialysis.
“My wish is to provide for my family once again,” he said, adding that everyone should make his or her health a top priority.
“Health is wealth, like the proverb goes. An illness can take away all your joy and replace it with misery,” added.
Rizal also urged the public to come forward and register as a organ donor in order to help those in need.
He said in some parts of Europe, people are more than eager to donate their organs once they are dead.
He also urged the government to provide some form of incentive to organ donors.
At A Walk, A Kidney, A Life, volunteers took the opportunity to set up a car booth sale, and sell homemade cookies and food. The National Kidney Foundation also provided free health checkchecks at its mobile bus. Those who wish to contact the family for details can visit www.facebook.com/Kidney4Daddy. They can also email email@example.com, or twitter @Kidney4Daddy.