Kidney and pancreas double transplant: Ivy's story 

Find out how a double kidney and pancreas transplant has transformed former diabetic Ivy's life.

Blood and organ donation

Transcript of Kidney and pancreas double transplant: Ivy's story

Hello. I'm Ivy Ashworth-Crees.

I'm 59 years old,

and I've just had a double transplant,

a kidney and a pancreas, at Manchester Royal Infirmary.

Going back about 32 years,

I started having diabetes,

and I had to go on insulin injections four times a day.

As about 25 years passed, I got kidney failure.

And in 2003, I had to go on kidney dialysis.

I was on kidney dialysis for two years,

and they put me on the list to have a kidney transplant,

but the surgeon suggested that I could probably benefit

from a kidney and a pancreas transplant.

Therefore, I wouldn't be a diabetic any more.

When I was a diabetic, I had to have a lot of insulin injections,

and I had to work very hard on my diet

to make sure that I didn't eat too much sweet stuff.

It also affected my kidneys a lot,

which meant that I then had to go on kidney dialysis.

The kidney dialysis was very uncomfortable.

It was a drain having to do it four times a day,

as well as having to have the injections for the diabetes four times a day.

I felt like my life was on hold.

When I got the phone call

to say that I was going into Manchester for the transplant,

I was absolutely hysterical.

I was frightened, I was excited, I was thrilled,

but I was terrified.

I rang my daughters who got upset over the phone.

They were crying. I was crying.

I didn't know if I'd see them again.

It was just a big bag of emotion. It was frightening.

When I came round after the operation, I was in intensive care.

I was in there for about three or four days,

and then they took me to the main ward.

The most difficult part was getting up out of bed,

onto my feet and starting to walk.

They walked me up and down the ward for weeks,

until my legs got strong enough.

That was very, very difficult.

The pain was very bad. But it's all been worth it.

The doctor asked me to try and reduce my weight,

which is worrying me.

I don't like it. I don't like the extra weight on.

So I've joined the gym.

I can't do much in the gym, but I swim.

I enjoy the swimming,

and I think that that's helping me to try and keep a bit active.

And... But I can't walk too far.

That's the only problem.

It's very, very important that I take the immunosuppressants.

If I don't have them, the kidney could reject, and the pancreas.

So I daren't not take those.

I have to have them for the rest of my life.

My life's changed such a lot.

I now take it for granted that I can eat what I want.

I can eat a box of chocolates now, if I want.

I'm back at work.

I don't have to have an injection after my meals.

I don't have to rush home to do my dialysis.

My kidneys are working well.

My pancreas is working well.

I feel very blessed, actually, that I've been through this operation,

and it's worked very well.


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