An Organ transplant is told: A bar of chocolate could have killed me

Mr. Burrack, you are ill at the end of the eighties, hard: your kidneys have stopped working, most likely caused by a bacterial infection. After seven and a half years on dialysis, she received in 1994 a new kidney. How are you today?

To me, today is pretty good. But I would like to come back to the concept of the “new kidney”: I did not get a “new” kidney, also no “foreign” Organ, but the kidney of a Stranger. That sounds a little small, but it’s an important difference. From the Moment this kidney of my blood was flowing through it, it was mine.

What has changed as a result of the organ donation to you?

During dialysis, I had no urine output and all of a sudden I was able to go to the bathroom again. For outsiders, it sounds like a strange and banal. But it is actually a significant difference, especially in the quality of life. There is a commercial in which an elderly man wakes up at night, tormented looks on the clock and then to the Loo drags. For a Kidney transplant like me, this picture is totally wrong, because I am pleased every Time I go to the toilet. Not to mention the other limitations of dialysis: and I had to watch my drinking quantity of 0.7 litres per day was the limit, and I was not allowed to eat anything. A bar of chocolate would have me back to kill – because of the relatively high potassium content. Today I will eat again chocolate, and the only side effect is that I might be a little increasing, as every other person.

Heiko Burrack is the founder of an Agency counseling and has more than 25 years, a donor kidney. Recently, his book “living high-two – questions and answers on organ donation and Transplantation” in the publishing house “medhochzwei appeared”.

How have you not noticed at the time that the kidney is something wrong?

I didn’t notice it at first and I collapsed one day with a massively high blood pressure. After that, I came very quickly to the dialysis. Many organs, including the kidney, have a high tolerance. You can soak up a lot, but at some point.

At that time there were no mobile phones. How did you get that message that there is a donor kidney?

I studied to the time in Göttingen, Germany and a Euro-signal device had with me. The device is a black box and is about as big as a cigarette box. I can receive only four different phone calls – then flashed and beeped it. On the day the call came, I didn’t have the device with me. My mother knew that I was in a certain building at the University of Göttingen. I was proclaimed to me and a friend came to meet, the can’t bring much from the rest. He was visibly nervous and drove me to the transplant center, according to Hann. Result. That is where I was dialyzed for a few hours, and after surgery.

At that time they were just 18 years old. The question of “Why I don’t is to come inevitably?”

Of course. On the other hand, I was and I am grateful that I was able to be treated. There are not many countries where patients in need of dialysis, also get actually. So I had a lot of bad luck, but also a lot of luck. My kidney has now been going on for more than 25 years. I’m lucky, and I’m a real rarity.

Thus, you need to take medicines called immunosuppressants. You can prevent your body rejecting the kidney. Restricts you in everyday life?

Not really. I take my pills two Times a day – once in the morning, once in the evening, with an interval of twelve hours. I must take the tablets neither too early nor too late. The tolerance is about half an hour so that the drug level remains in the blood as constant as possible.

In a Pre-interview, you were told that the donor kidney for you is palpable. You can buttons. What does this mean for you?

The kidney is inserted in the “small pelvis” and that I can you buttons. The proximity to my kidney is this again more clearly, and also Express my gratitude. For me, this is a big issue. There is no day that I don’t think of the donor, to the donor and their family. I recently wrote the book “life to the power of two” on the topic of organ donation, and as a result a huge piece of humility is to come. I find it admirable that people in dire situations the courage to make such a decision and say: Yes, we will make a donation.

 Why have you written a book on the subject?

My enlightenment as a receiver a while ago. I started again with the topic, and I noticed that it is relatively complicated in a hurry. Just in the Internet is the topic of very much half-knowledge, a lot of prejudice. What I find amazing is that this is also the case of Doctors there. I remember a conversation with a vascular surgeon who asked me if it was proven that when a brain death is really all the nerve cells are dead. You don’t know. I then researched and experts are talking about. And it showed: of Course you can’t say that in the case of a brain-dead, all nerve cells have died. But you know that the entire brain off function permanently and no longer can be restored. My goal was to make me this half-knowledge and true questions: What? And what is wrong about it?

Many politicians, including the Minister of health, Jens Spahn, calling for the introduction of the so-called double-consent system. That means that Anyone that does not contradict active of a donation, the donor in question. Unless, that is, related members of a set a Veto. What do you say to the approach?

In Germany, the decision solution, which means that possible donors with the topic set is currently, therefore, active for or against a donation can pronounce. I think it’s basically good. Both decisions are acceptable. Just in terms of the much to long wait times, I think, however, that one has no other option than to pull out all the stops. The most Important thing is what happens in hospitals is for sure – so that the position of the transplantation of the Ombudsman is strengthened in the hospitals. That it comes to a more rational and fairer fees. That there are not enough neurologists and neurosurgeons, the consultant of base can determine the brain death, even in smaller clinics. These are very crucial steps which have recently been initiated by the policy. But also, the opposition solution is another important lever.

Critics argue that the double contradiction solution aufzwängt the people for a decision. According to the Motto: Who says no is my Yes.

We should briefly define what we are talking: It is, quite simply, to save lives. Any donated Organ is the last opportunity to survive, can and should expect that he or she comes to the appropriate list. You can not then demand that you meet for a decision, what happens to his organs, if in the unlikely case of brain death? Whatever the decision is, I find that this is not too much to ask.

You can read about this in the Multimedia-Reportage: “The donation”

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