Nearly a month ago, Christel Swart, 45, underwent an operation in which one of her healthy kidneys was harvested and transplanted into her colleague Zandra Marais’ body.
The two procedures lasted more than eight hours.
Zandra, a pharmacist’s assistant, was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2013 and had to undergo dialysis three times a week since then. Both women work at Hermanus Medi-Clinic, where they met a few years ago.
Zandra says she feels like a new person after getting Christel’s kidney.
“I don’t feel exhausted all the time anymore, it’s like a huge weight has lifted. I am very grateful to Christel. She is an angel that was sent to me,” she says.
“She was the first person to be tested and she was a match,” says Zandra who celebrated her 55th birthday yesterday.
The women each wear half of a heart on a necklace, with the date of the operation engraved on it.
Christel resumed work last week.
“It was lekker to be back. I had some pain and was tired after the first day but everything’s fine now,” says the bubbly blonde.
While Christel’s life is back to normal, Zandra will have to take medication for the rest of her life to keep her new kidney healthy.
Both women passed their first medical tests after the huge operation with flying colours.
Now their families are planning a big celebration for next weekend.
Zandra says: “My whole family wants to meet her and our families are just going to kuier.”