Emirati gives a new life to sister with his kidney
Expressing her gratitude to Ma’an platform for arranging the organ donation free of cost, Alia, who is now leading a normal life.
As the eldest brother among his four siblings, Buti Alhamedh, 40, always looked out for his younger siblings, in particular his youngest sister Alia, who was diagnosed with a chronic kidney disease from birth. He was 11 when Alia was born and since then has seen her go in and out of hospitals as her kidneys progressively got worse before completely failing and making her dependent on dialysis in order to survive.
Seeing his sister go through the painfully long process of dialysis, where a machine was attached to her body to purify her blood for almost six hours, thrice a day, Emirati national Buti decided to donate one of his kidneys to Alia. However, Alia refused to accept it as she didn’t want his life to get affected as he was a sportsperson and a family man with four kids.
After going through dialysis for almost 10 years, Alia finally relented and accepted her elder brother’s offer.
The professional sportsman happily donated his kidney to her, throwing her a lifeline literally, and putting his career on the line.
Married with four kids, Buti is now an ex-professional football player, who gave up his passion for playing the sport and moved to coaching when he decided to donate his kidney to his sister.
Speaking about donating his kidney to his sister, Buti said: “Our bond with our siblings is like no other. We lost our father a couple of years ago and I remember how worried he used to be about Alia. In his last days, he called me and said to me, ‘take care of Alia, I am worried for her’. His words echoed in my mind and I knew what I had to do. For me ‘taking care of her’ meant saving her life and I decided to donate my kidney to her. By 2020, Alia was also exhausted with the whole dialysis process and agreed for the transplant.”
The transplant was done under Ma’an (authority for social contribution) fundraising platform for organ transplant support that is also supported by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha). The platform aims to raise contributions to cover costs related to organ transfers and enhance community culture and perception of organ donations. Contributions will be used to cover the operation expenses and medicine costs for patients throughout their recovery period.
Buti’s only concern was related to his passion for sport. Although he gave up playing football, Buti has joined his football club as a fitness trainer and still takes part in various competitions such as short marathons upto 10km and bike race.
“My only question to the doctors before the operation was if I would have to give up sports activities completely after the transplant and they all told me that it was a misconception and that it was all about keeping yourself healthy and fit, and I could be an active sportsperson. My life is back to normal, I go to work and then also take out time for sports activities and in fact I have become very healthy in terms of my lifestyle. I take care of my diet and drink a good amount of water as told. I feel great and very fit. The only thing I miss now are my six-pack abs that got a bit distorted after my stomach was cut for the operation,” Buti laughed.
Expressing her gratitude to Ma’an platform for arranging the organ donation free of cost, Alia, who is now leading a normal life, said: “I am deeply indebted to God, my brother and Ma’an who have been an incredible part of my transplant story, they helped me get rid of the difficulties I faced for almost a decade. I feel I am born again and I can now see and experience life as a real blessing from God.”
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