Lifelong kidney hero raises cash for hospital TVs to benefit South Yorkshire patients

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A patient who has spent his entire life being treated by city doctors has raised thousands of pounds for Sheffield Hospitals Charity to buy equipment to boost the care of fellow kidney patients.

Sam Blackburn, aged 32, from Killamarsh, is currently recovering from a second kidney transplant after being diagnosed with chronic renal failure as a baby.

As part of his recovery and ongoing treatment, Sam spends long stretches in clinic for routine tests and treatment, prompting him to raise funds for smart TVs to be installed throughout the Renal Department at the Northern General Hospital.

The TVs, which he raised £6,500 for, will not only help to break the monotony of long visits, but improve the information available to them about their stay and will be used to provide health information.

Sam said: “I was born with chronic renal failure and at six months old was diagnosed with vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), which is where urine flows out of the bladder and back up the ureters. It resulted in infection after infection and, at nine months old, my right kidney was removed fully and the left was partially removed.

“Growing up I had regular hospital check-ups, but when I was 21, tests showed that my half kidney had deteriorated. The doctors weren’t happy to leave things as they were, so it was decided that I should start Peritoneal Dialysis for the first time, and when a kidney became available I was given a transplant.

“The kidney was compatible and for nine years I lived a normal life. But then the transplanted kidney function declined and after months of dialysis I’m recovering from a second kidney transplant at the moment.

“When suffering with kidney disease, and recovering from operations, all patients have to spend a lot of time at the hospital. Currently I’m at the clinic for four-hour stretches three times a week. This involves urine, blood, pulse and temperature tests, and lots of waiting in between on site for the results. With no entertainment and just the four walls, it can be very monotonous.

“The TVs mean there is always something to watch and keep patients entertained. Staff also have the ability to provide patient information messages via an on screen news ticker. I’m pleased I’ve been able to raise funds to make a real difference to others at the Renal Department.”

Sam hosted a football tournament, and twenty of his work colleagues took part in a Tough Mudder for Sheffield Hospitals Charity.

To donate to help improve the lives of people with kidney disease, visit www.sheffieldhospitalscharity.org.uk/why-help-patients/kidney-disease