Alan recalls the day ‘probably the greatest gift of all’ changed his life

Hawick, UNITED KINGDOM. - 22 Jan 2013 : 'Alan Trimby'Caption:''''(Photo by  Rob Gray / freelance / � 2013)
Hawick, UNITED KINGDOM. - 22 Jan 2013 : 'Alan Trimby'Caption:''''(Photo by Rob Gray / freelance / � 2013)

LITTLE more than two years ago, Alan Trimby could barely have expected that he would celebrate his 50th birthday, in 2013 by holidaying abroad with wife Susan.

At around 4am on October 18, 2010, Alan received an unexpected phonecall that would drastically alter the way he could live his life. A new kidney – to replace the one that had endangered his job and prevented him going on holiday and planning for the future – was waiting for him, and he had to travel to Edinburgh as quickly as possible to receive it.

Previously, he’d attended Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary three nights a week for years to receive dialysis treatment; now, another visit to the hospital would transform Alan forever.

“If it wasn’t for the medical world, I wouldn’t be here, never mind enjoying life,” admits Alan. “A donation like this is probably the greatest gift of all. It’s something you can do without thinking about – carry a card, or fill in a form online – then forget about it. It’s something everyone should look at doing.”

Alan, who works in the police force, is speaking to the Hawick News as the Scottish government attempts to encourage more people to carry a donor card. After learning of a genetic kidney problem within his family, Alan went to the doctor for tests. He was diagnosed with high blood pressure and it was discovered cysts had formed on one of his kidneys. A former sprinter for Scotland as a younger man, the naturally-fit community beat officer began to tire at work, and when later he began to feel his body was “functioning at 10-15 per cent” he was put on regular dialysis, hospital sessions that supported his ailing kidney.

Following the death of a patient in Edinburgh, the kidney was transferred into Alan’s body. After his body initially “rejected” the new organ, Alan took only eight months to gain a new lease of life.

“Things are different – I have more energy and stamina, and I’m now doing things I used to do before, like playing golf.

“When you’re on dialysis, you can’t plan things. You live day-to-day. This year, I turn 50, and I’m going to celebrate by going abroad.”

Register for a donor card online at