'Don't give up': Inspiring message after 25-year wait for new kidney

Danii-Marie Keen, 29, who has been given a new lease of life after a kidney transplant

Danii-Marie Keen, 29, who has been given a new lease of life after a kidney transplant - Credit: Danii-Marie Keen

She has spent the last eight years on life-saving dialysis after her kidney had to be removed when she was only four.

And now after missing out on everyday opportunities, 29-year-old Danii-Marie Keen is keen to embrace life after a kidney transplant at Addenbrooke's Hospital on October 16.

Danii-Marie Keen (right) at her mother's wedding on September 24

Danii-Marie Keen (right) at her mother's wedding on September 24 - Credit: Danii-Marie Keen

Miss Keen, who grew up in Taverham and studied at Taverham High School and Norwich City College, was born with reflux after her valve between her kidney and bladder had formed properly meaning urine caused scarring to her kidney.

An operation at just three-years-old to reconnect the valve at the former Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital was unsuccessful so her right kidney had to be removed a year later.

Danii-Marie Keen as a child

Danii-Marie Keen as a child - Credit: Danii-Marie Keen

She was rushed to the NNUH age 17 with a nasty kidney infection and diagnosed with kidney disease and in 2013 she started dialysis aged 21.

Miss Keen added: "It has been an emotional rollercoaster. It is a strange feeling that my body doesn't feel like it doesn't require dialysis. I'm hoping I will continue to feel strong and can make memories with my family and friends."

The 29-year-old, who had to give up her job and interest in amateur dramatics due to feeling tired from dialysis, added she was thankful to the 41-year-old woman who donated the kidney.

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She described dialysis, which was done three times a week, as gruelling which prevented her from doing things other young people enjoyed.

Danii-Marie-Keen in a dialysis session

Danii-Marie-Keen in a dialysis session - Credit: Danii-Marie Keen

"I felt like I was missing out on certain things. I saw my friends going on holiday, travelling, and going on gap years. My life was on hold," Miss Keen added.

She has been overwhelmed by the support from people who donated to a gofundme fundraiser which will allow her to enjoy activities she previously could not take part in.

Danii-Marie Keen, 29, who is recovering after a successful kidney transplant

Danii-Marie Keen, 29, who is recovering after a successful kidney transplant - Credit: Danii-Marie Keen

So far £570 has been raised which will go towards a two-day trip to London's West End with friends next year and a flight to Tenerife to see family.

She added: "Even if you are in your darkest days don't give up."

Danii-Marie Keen during a previous performance with the New Taverham Players several years ago

Danii-Marie Keen during a previous performance with the New Taverham Players several years ago - Credit: Danii-Marie Keen

The 29-year-old, who recently moved to Aylsham, wants to get involved in the New Taverham Players again and work as a theatrical make-up artist.

To donate visit https://bit.ly/2ZQCU7t

What is kidney disease?

The job of the kidneys is to filter the blood, removing harmful waste products and excess fluid and turning these into urine to be passed out of the body.

Chronic kidney disease is a long-term condition where the kidneys do not work as well as they should.

If kidneys do not work properly waste products and fluid can build up to dangerous levels in someone's body.

Left untreated, kidney failure can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms and eventually be fatal.

Symptoms include tiredness, swollen ankles, feet or hands, shortness of breath, feeling sick or blood in urine.

Dialysis works by removing waste products and excess fluid from the blood which is diverted to a machine to be cleaned before going back into a person's body.



  

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