First for Schuur
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Talk about a birthday gift to top them all! Just before her 36th birthday, Leandré got a gift like no other—a life-changing chance thanks to a kidney donation!


Cape Town, South Africa (03 January 2024) — In a strike of incredible timing, Leandré Wiltshire got the birthday gift of a lifetime recently thanks to the heroes of Groote Schuur Hospital and a present from her partner that neither of them will likely forget in birthdays to come.

Not flowers, perfume, cake, or anything that can be unwrapped, Leandré’s gift came in the form of a life-changing chance. For her, it’s something that could only be described as “the best birthday present ever”. After all, it was another shot at life with a functioning kidney.

Having been on kidney dialysis for the past five years, Leandré had long awaited the moment when she could return to a sense of normalcy through a transplant.

But, like any story where organ donation plays a role, the road to transplant day is long and winding. Groote Schuur Hospital performed 60 kidney transplants in 2023, which, despite reflecting the highest number of living donors since 2009, still indicates how tough life is on the waiting list. As Leandré didn’t have functioning kidneys at all, life on the list meant dialysis three times every week.

But, as her 36th birthday loomed, her biggest gift would come from none other than the father of her children and her partner in life—Mr Mervyn Peterson.

After finding out he was a match for her in more ways than one, the Groote Schuur team began planning for the big transplant day. The procedure was declared a big success just the day before her birthday.

“This was the best gift that I could have given her,” Mervyn said of the big moment.

“Thank you to Mervyn, who helped me through this whole journey. He provided tremendous support to our four children in order for me to continue my treatment and life-changing procedure,” said Leandré.

Sources: Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness 
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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