Two moms give kidneys to save girls
It was a toss-up between losing a kidney or their daughters' lives, so two mothers chose the former.
Dorcas Khuphelo, of Delft in Cape Town, donated a kidney to her four-year-old daughter Ashley last November after she was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2006.
"I may have lost a kidney and my job but my daughter is still alive and that's all that matters," said Khuphelo.
Two years after the kidney transplant, Ashley is a happy and energetic little girl.
Ashley was born with kidney problems and suffered renal failure when she was two years old.
Though a suitable match because they shared the same blood type, her father Welby could not donate a kidney because doctors discovered that he was born with only one organ.
"It was painful to see her losing out on her childhood and being plugged into the dialysis machine for 12 hours a day. It didn't matter what would happen to me as long as she lived," Khuphelo said.
After nine months of dialysis, a treatment that replicates the kidneys' function to flush toxins out of the body, Khuphelo gave Ashley her kidney.
Another transplant survivor Zanele Ngoza, of Braamfontein in Johannesburg, has lived with her mother Beatrice Moloi's kidney for nine years.
Ngoza was diagnosed with kidney failure in 1998 and underwent the life-saving surgery in 2000.
"I am alive today because of my mother. I never imagined I would be where I am today," said Ngoza.
Moloi said her daughter's condition, which started with sores on the legs, blood in the urine, swollen feet and vomiting, baffled doctors who initially suspected heart disease.
Moloi said some relatives feared the worst and discouraged her from going ahead with the transplant.
Ngoza spent more than a year in hospital undergoing hours of dialysis daily and being prepared for a kidney transplant.
According to the Organ Donor Foundation, about 3500 people need organ and cornea transplants in South Africa but fewer than 1000 will receive them.
ODF spokesperson Samantha Volschenk said there was demand for hearts, lungs, kidneys, corneas, liver, pancreas, skin and bone tissues.