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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

Boy gets new lease on life after successful kidney transplant in Abu Dhabi

Jordanian Qais Hatamleh, 14, was diagnosed with kidney failure and had to have his right kidney removed when just a year old

Qais Hatamleh, 14, is recovering after a kidney transplant on January 2 at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Qais Hatamleh, 14, is recovering after a kidney transplant on January 2 at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City. Chris Whiteoak / The National

A boy who has lived with just one kidney for thirteen years was given a new lease on life after receiving a transplant from a deceased donor.

Jordanian Qais Hatamleh, 14, was diagnosed with kidney failure and had to have his right kidney removed when just a year old.

To survive Qais had to take ten different pills a day and be given injections in his leg.

“Sometimes he would cry and ask me if he had to live for the rest of his life this way,” said Olfat Hatamleh, his mother.

She said her greatest fear was that her son would one day require dialysis.

“I kept following up with his doctors, made sure he ate the right food and took all his medication and trying to prolong the need for dialysis.”

As her son did not have a living related donor, he was not eligible for a transplant.

Ms Hatamleh’s worst fears were realised when on January 1 her son’s doctors called saying he must start dialysis immediately.

On that same day, she says their luck changed for the better.

“The gates of heaven opened and God heard my prayers,” she said.

Doctors told her they had a deceased donor kidney available for her son.

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She said her first reaction was fear.

“I was scared of the immense happiness I was feeling. I was scared that Qais’s body would reject the kidney. I couldn’t stop crying and laughing.”

The next day Qais underwent a six-hour kidney transplant surgery.

He is one of the first cases in the UAE and at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City to receive a kidney transplant from a deceased donor and is now recuperating at SKMC. He is expected to be released in a week.

“I haven’t met the donor's family but I want them to know that they have saved my son’s life. That through their tragedy, they have saved another person’s life - my son,” said Ms Hatamleh.

“I cannot be grateful or thankful enough to them, the staff, the doctors, the government and leaders of the UAE.

"I wish everyone could know that by agreeing to donate organs that are no longer needed and will go to waste, they are saving so many lives.”

Organ transplants are paid for by the UAE government for both citizens and non-nationals.

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