Patrick Ng had no idea how serious his condition would prove to be when he began feeling unwell a few years ago.
Tests quickly revealed Ng, an investment adviser who works in Kelowna, had kidney disease.
“My doctor said, ‘One of your kidneys is completely done already, and the other one is on its way out,” Ng, 42, recalled Sunday.
“I was told I could have been a couple months away from passing if I didn’t get treatments right away,” said Ng, who was among those participating in Kelowna’s annual Kidney Walk, sponsored by the Kidney Foundation of Canada.
After three years of being on dialysis, Ng got a call in early April from Vancouver that a kidney match was available.
“They told me they had a viable option for me and I needed to get down there as soon as possible,” Ng said. “So I rushed down the next morning and they had me wheeled into the operating room at three o’clock.”
The operation was a success, with Ng’s new kidney adapting well to his body. Though it’s been only about two months since the transplant, Ng feels well on the road to recovery.
“My overall energy level is increased,” he said. “I feel healthier not having to take a lot of medication while dialyzing.”
About one in 10 Canadians will experience kidney disease at some point in their lives, the Kidney Foundation says. The disease has no cure and is often under-recognized and undetectable in its early stages.
The Kelowna Kidney Walk, like 12 others around the province, is aimed at promoting awareness and raising money for research. A fundraising total was not immediately available from Sunday’s walk.
For his part, Ng is still a couple months from returning to work at RBC Dominion Securities, but he was joined at Sunday’s event by many friends and co-workers.
The person who provided Ng with his new kidney also gave his heart, liver and lungs to others who’d been on organ wait-lists.
“He was able to help three other people when he passed,” Ng said. “It’s been a humbling and overwhelming experience.”