By Lyonel Doherty
Last year Kuldeep Singh Bahniwal went to the hospital because his feet started to swell and he was short of breath.
He didn’t know what was going on. He was generally healthy working in his tree fruit orchard since 1992.
The doctor relayed the bad news that Bahniwal’s kidney was failing and he needed a new one.
That was quite a shock since you can’t just go to the store and pick one up.
What followed was a regime of medications and being hooked up to dialysis while on the long waiting list for a kidney.
“It was a very bad life. I was dizzy and did not feel hungry (anymore),” said Bahniwal, 58.
But one day he was chatting with his long-time friend, Denis Roy, and the future suddenly looked as bright as a shiny apple on a tree. “He said, ‘I’ll give you a kidney, don’t worry about it.’”
And it just so happened that Roy had the same blood type as Bahniwal, so the match was ideal.
The surgeries on November 15 were a tremendous success, and Bahniwal is feeling like a new man today. He is eating well and has more energy to do things.
Bahniwal said he is looking forward to getting back to farming.
Roy, 55, is still quite stiff but he is walking around. He now feels very good about what he did for his friend, and noted he didn’t really have to think about it before making the decision.
“I didn’t want him to suffer anymore. Why should anyone suffer (like that)?”
Roy said he has always been a “caregiver” because that is his purpose in life. “That’s me.”
Roy said his father had one of his kidneys removed by mistake in hospital, yet he lived until he was 90 years old.
Roy said you can give up your kidney and still live a long, healthy life. “You really don’t need two kidneys,” he pointed out.