Lecture by longest-living person with kidney failure

For many, kidney failure and the ensuing dialysis routine is a terrible condemnation to death. But for Robin Eady, the longest-living person with kidney failure, it was just a minor irritant as he concentrated on the finer pleasures of life.

“After 47 years of coping with renal replacement therapy, I can say good family back-up and being a bit selfish about one’s own needs does help,” said Dr. Eady, delivering the Krishnan-Ang endowment lecture organised by the TANKER (Tamilnadu Kidney Research) Foundation here on Monday. The lecture was part of the 17th Republic Eve Nite, an annual fund-raising programme of the foundation.

“I have undergone dialysis in 30 centres in 15 countries. Renal problems have not stopped me from attending conferences or going on vacations,” he said and pointed out that small discomforts are bearable when it helps one continue to live.

His life gives hope to many patients and he was here to pass on the belief that even the complexity of a killing disease can be controlled through discipline and constant striving.

He stressed the importance of organ donation as his life transformed once he got a kidney transplant in 1987 after 24 years on a chronic dialysis programme. “I am here because of the generosity of a young woman’s family who consented to donate her kidney after her death. I have never met her but I’m extremely grateful,” he added.

Health Secretary V.K.Subburaj said that while close to one lakh people require kidney transplants every year, only 5,000 get it.

“The government is procuring dialysis equipment and in a month most government hospitals will be able to provide free dialysis,” he added.

Mr. Subburaj presented the La Renon TANKER Foundation ‘For the Sake of Honour’ award to Dr. Eady for his research work in dermatology and his triumph over kidney disease. Nephrologists Narayan Prasad and Anita Rao were presented the Research award and Service award respectively.