AARON TAY with CALEB TAY: I AM ALIVE
“I’m eternal grateful. It was like a second chance”
- Live Kidney Transplant Patient. 6 months to live. Author.
Story of Brotherly Love. Gratitude.
“I want you to have a full life!”
Caleb Tay, the 31 year old decided to donate a kidney to his brother, Aaron Tay, when life took a change in him. The later suffered from Lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease which attacked his kidneys, blood and heart, had been sickly since the tender age of 8 years old, where hospital was like a second home with regular blood transfusion, lap tests and treatments for relapses.
“The chemo drugs (used to suppress the attack of healthy cells) totally washed me out, I couldn’t make sense of my emotions, suicidal thoughts were there, got my first dialysis at 21, which was traumatic - the blood vessels burst 3 times a week. I was totally…..I actually planned to just die by boycotting food”. 3 years later, Aaron was given 6 months to live with a new prognosis of a suspected malignant tumour at his left nasal channel after he fainted in school and the heart started to deteriorate too.
Caleb, then 22, gave a new lease of life to his Brother - he made a life-changing decision upon reaching the legal age to donate his kidney to save his brother despite the father’s reluctance, as he didn’t want another son to “go to the cutting-board”.
They took 1 year to prep for the transplant to make sure that Aaron’s condition was at his prime. 2 weeks after the surgery, the new kidney was breathing new life in the frail body which was regenerating back to a healthy dose of pink. “The most precious thing was to be able to drink water and pass urine!”. And soon after, the heart also restored back to optimal healthy condition.
“I’m eternal grateful. It was like a second chance”. Now, 10 years later, Aaron is blissfully married with 3 beautiful kids and a loving wife who took care of him when she was a nurse. While Caleb shared that “there was alittle obligation to help, but don’t see that it was any sacrifice - it was just like a flesh off the hand, and moreover, one can still survive with 1 kidney and be healthy”.
The duo are working towards to set up an effort to advocate for Live organ donation, to save lives.