Transplant changed my life – Pontypool walk organiser
2:20pm Friday 1st March 2013 in News
TWO years ago, a kidney transplant changed Andrew Woolfall’s life for the better – in the middle of preparations for a charity walk.
Now, the former lorry driver is organising another Walk For Life in Pontypool, in aid of the Kidney Wales Foundation.
When the call came from the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff in February 2011, telling him a match had been found, it left him just five weeks to recover the fitness required to complete the walk.
Mr Woolfall managed it, and he is planning to take part in this year’s event, too.
“The transplant came right in the middle of things two years ago. I was well enough to do the walk – I came back last, but I finished it – but I’m making sure I’ll be fighting fit this time,” said the 42-year-old, who lives with wife Annette and son Lewis, in Tranch, Pontypool.
His transplant came 11 years after his kidney problems began, and five years after he was put on the transplant list.
The operation freed him from the vital but exhausting shackles of dialysis, which he was having three times a week by the time the call came.
“It was four-and-a-half hours, three days a week, and it left me wiped out.
And with the travelling to and from Cardiff, it was very time-consuming,” said MrWoolfall.
“I started feeling better straight away and I feel much better in myself now.
“You battle on with the dialysis, but it’s only after a transplant that you realise how ill you had been and how much it was affecting you.”
MrWoolfall’s kidney problems developed as a result of complications with diabetes, which he was diagnosed with aged seven and which also robbed him of his sight in his late 20s.
“I’m completely blind, so things like going out are still the same as they were, but my overall health is better, ” he said.
Transplant changed my life – walk organiser
THE Pontypool Walk for Life will take place on March 24, at 11am.
“It’s from the leisure centre to the Open Hearth pub at Griffithstown, along the canal and back, about four-and-a-half miles,” said Mr Woolfall.
Anyone wishing to take part in the event and raise sponsorship may contact Mr Woolfall on 01495 760231, or Kidney Wales Foundation on 029 2034 3940.
Details of other Walks For Life in Gwent can be found at www.peoplelikeus.org/events/walk-for-life-2013/
Sign up for canalside stroll, or for choice of other routes.