A TRANSPLANT patient who has had dialysis three times a week for the last eight years is urging other patients not to put their lives on hold.
Eric Parker (75) has continued to work as a stonemason at his family business in Holbeach Hurn despite the pressures of getting up at 5.15am to take himself to hospital in Peterborough for treatment every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
He said: “Most patients go home and go to bed but to me that’s giving in to it. I feel pretty good when I come off dialysis.
“My wife Janis often says I am struggling and I say I have been struggling all my life. I think a lot of it is in the mind.”
Eric was born with a split kidney and has been a renal patient for the last 26 years. He spent ten years going into renal failure before spending two years on dialysis. A kidney transplant gave him six years of good health and then he was forced to go back on dialysis.
Eric was given the opportunity to go back on to the transplant waiting list but he declined.
He explained: “When you go on dialysis and look around and see how many young people there are, they deserve a chance. I have had mine and I am quite happy on dialysis.”
Eric is now the second longest surviving dialysis patient visiting the ward in Peterborough.
“I would like people with renal problems to be optimistic and not put their lives on hold,” he said. “I always remember going to a seminar at Leicester General Hospital. There were couples that wanted to get engaged, married and move house but they put their lives on hold. To me, that’s wrong.”
Eric has also urged more people to consider joining the organ donor register.
He added: “Joining the organ donor register is one of the best things that you can do. If you can save someone’s life what better reward is there?”