LIKE SO many patients waiting for a life-changing organ transplant, father-of-three Choudry Mohammed Ikram’s life is determined by his treatment.
With four hour sessions of dialysis every other day at St James Hospital, Mr Ikram, of Agbrigg, Wakefield, was forced to give up his job as a senior civil engineer with Leeds Council four years ago when his renal function deteriorated so much he was placed on the transplant list.
Mr Ikram is one of the 486 patients in the region who are waiting for the call to tell them the organ they need so badly is available. Sadly, 30 patients in Yorkshire and the Humber have died while on the transplant waiting list this year alone.
He has backed NHS Blood and Transplant’s Christmas List campaign to encourage everyone to join the organ donor register. Already this year, 371 patients in the region have received a transplant thanks to families agreeing to donate a loved one’s organs.
“When you do go from this world, leave a legacy behind you, and allow someone to live their life more fully and happily,” Mr Ikram, 49, said. “I would love to be able to go back to work, to spend time away on holiday with my family. But I can’t even go to London for a trip out as I’d have to be back the same day - everything has to fit around my treatment regime.”
Mr Ikram was diagnosed with renal failure in 2005. By 2010 he had just 8-9 per cent kidney function, began dialysis and was placed on the transplant list.
His wife and children have offered to get tested for compatibility for donation, but Mr Ikram said he “couldn’t ask” a live donor, especially a family member.
“It is a great deal to sacrifice, I feel very emotional about it,” he said. “They have already lost out so much because of my illness.”
Visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk, call 0300 123 23 23 or text SAVE to 62323 to join the register.