A MAN who has fought kidney disease from birth could die if he doesn’t get a kidney transplant... and he is appealing for your help.

Former Southend College student, George Graham, had a blocked urethra while in the womb which caused urine to back up into his bladder and kidneys, resulting in malformed kidneys.

He was left needing a transplant as soon as he was born.

The 24-year-old told the Echo: “I was on peritoneal dialysis as a baby until I got a transplant in 1997 when I was about two years old.

“The transplant failed overnight and it was a difficult time for my family. I had dialysis daily until I was offered another transplant in October 2000.

“I had a good run of this kidney. It lasted me for the rest of my school years, until it eventually failed in March 2013.” George was then diagnosed with stage five chronic kidney disease and put on immediate haemodialysis dialysis three times a week at Southend Hospital.

Each session lasts four hours.

He has been undergoing this treatment for the last six years but because of complications, he is now racing against time to find a live donor.

George added: “Kidney disease has affected my whole life. Interfered with my education and ability to work.

“The constant dialysis has also weakened my bones and resulted in me fracturing both my kneecaps twice in the last year.

“I also get severe headaches because of the dialysis and have an increased risk of having a heart attack.

“I want to also raise awareness of how many people require dialysis and how hardly any donors are available compared to the amount of people who need them.

“I know it isn’t a normal ask but if anyone is willing to donate or get tested, please contact your local donor nurse.”

Haemodialysis involves diverting blood into an external machine where it is filtered before being returned to the body.

In order to have haemodialysis, George had to have a special blood vessel called an arteriovenous (AV) fistula created in his arm.

That is created by connecting an artery to a vein, making the blood vessel larger and stronger. This makes it easier to transfer the blood into the dialysis machine and back again.

However, the prolonged treatment caused George’s veins to narrow which meant he had to have alternative AV fistulas created in his chest and then his groin which is where it is currently.

George has been told after his current fistula narrows and becomes unusable, the only option awill be a live donor.

If you wish to be tested as a possible donor, contact the Renal Unit at Southend Hospital on 01702 385325.