“I am grateful to my brother for gifting me a renewed chance at life.”
– Abdillah (left) who is looking forward to a bright future after his kidney transplant
Life turned topsy-turvy for 18-year-old polytechnic student Muhammad Abdillah Bin Sinuan two years ago when he noticed his face and legs were starting to swell. The then 16-year-old also frequently felt weak and tired but thought it was because he was busy preparing for his GCE O-Level.
Initially, Abdillah and his family attributed the swellings to an allergic reaction but when things did not improve, they got worried. Concerned about his youngest son’s condition, Abdillah’s father brought him to the hospital to seek medical attention, and Abdillah was diagnosed with kidney failure.
Abdillah was only in his teens, free from diabetes and hypertension, and has no family history of kidney disease. Not only was Abdillah’s family in shock about his diagnosis, his doctor was also equally puzzled. To sustain his life, Abdillah had to undergo emergency dialysis, where a catheter had to be inserted into his neck.
His doctor then advised him to defer his studies and O-Level for a year. The news shattered Abdillah who had plans to graduate together with his classmates. “I was uncertain if I could ever go back to school. I felt that I was just wasting my time away when I could have put it to better use by being back in school and pursuing my dreams,” recalled Abdillah.
Abdillah begun dialysis at a private dialysis centre in late 2019 before transferring to an NKF dialysis centre. Adbillah found it especially challenging to adhere to the fluid restrictions of not more than 1,000ml a day as a dialysis patient. “After a week on dialysis, I was re-admitted to the hospital for drinking too much water,” he confessed.
When Abdillah’s renal doctor suggested the possibility of a kidney transplant, Abdillah’s parents and brothers immediately volunteered to donate their kidneys.
Abdillah’s mother and older brother Aminuddin Hilmi Bin Sinuan’s blood type was a match. However, Abdillah’s mother was deemed an unsuitable candidate due to her old age and pre-existing medical conditions. “My heart ached to see how he was being tortured by the disease at such a young age,” shared Amin, now 25.
Amin decided to step up to donate his kidney to his youngest brother. Their parents were hesitant as Amin was in the prime of his life and the operation was not without any risks. He finally managed to persuade his parents to allow him to donate his kidney to Abdillah. The transplant operation was postponed multiple times when Covid-19 and the lockdown happened in 2020. It was successfully performed on 10 June 2020.
Abdillah and Amin are thankful for the NKF Kidney Live Donor Support Fund. The Fund took care of the bills incurred from the pre and post-transplant appointments and the transplant operation, allowing the brothers to focus on their recovery.
Amin is now coping well with a single kidney. He makes it a point to drink plenty of water, eat healthily, exercise regularly and finds no difference to his health before and after the operation. “I am happy just to see him back to his active and happy self, pursuing his dreams as planned,” smiled Amin.
Abdillah also sat for and passed his O Levels in 2020, and is now studying at a polytechnic. “I am grateful to my brother for gifting me a renewed chance at life,” said Abdillah. “I can now drink water freely without worry about getting sick.”