Family share kidney transplant journey

Monday, May 22, 2023 renal
Family share kidney transplant journey
Mathew and Kylie Kaye share their kidney transplant journey in the hopes it encourages others to get checked.

A routine visit to the GP several years ago resulted in Mathew Kaye discovering his kidneys were only functioning at 27 percent.

“I had no symptoms, no warning signs,” he said.

Diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and horseshoe kidney, Mathew began dialysis in 2021, before entering the Australian and New Zealand Kidney Exchange program with his wife and kidney donor, Kylie.

“I was pretty determined to keep working full time, to put it off for as long as possible. I got down to about six percent function before the dialysis.

“But you shouldn’t have to get sick to realise work’s not everything. Now, family time and being well is everything to me,” Mathew said. 

Mathew and Kylie underwent transplant surgery in December 2021, arriving home three days before Christmas. Two years on, they’re back to doing the things they love, including taking day trips with their three kids, while Mathew is coaching under nine’s football.

“The Bendigo Health staff were amazing. The nurses in dialysis, the consultants, they made the experience more positive. They’ve saved our lives,” Mathew said.

“From a donor perspective, everyone involved in the journey was great. They made sure we were back together as a family before Christmas,” Kylie said.

In light of Kidney Health Week (21-27 May), Kylie and Mathew are urging others to visit their GP and get checked, no matter how healthy they are.

“The biggest thing with kidney health disease is that you don’t know anything is wrong until it gets really bad. The earlier you know about it, the better chance you have of prolonging the life of your kidneys,” Kylie said.

Find out more about Kidney Health Week at: