John Gachie Mwangi, 57, is an auditor serving the Kenyan Ministry of Education. His life was upended in March 2015 when he was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease.
“Back in 2014, I started having some sweating on the feet, so I went to the hospital, they did some tests…I was diagnosed with end-stage kidney failure,” John recounts. He was discharged after two weeks, but required dialysis three times weekly to survive in his current state. His nephrologist recommended a kidney transplant in India.
“My insurer, the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), told me that they insure such treatment through A&K Global Health,” says John. “[At] A&K’s office in Nairobi, I met a very, very helpful lady called Eucabeth, who started the process of coming over to Columbia Asia [Hospital].”
“At Bangalore we were met by staff members of A&K…I would like to mention especially Mr. Ahmed Tabrez, who went out of his way to ensure that we were comfortable. Because I was on dialysis, the same day, he brought me to Columbia Asia,” John remembers, where the doctors immediately provided that necessary treatment.
“Following that we started the evaluation…but the surgeons said I could not go for transplant because I was overweight. They advised me to reduce at least 15 kilograms.” Serious about his recovery, John adhered strictly to his prescribed diet and exercise program, dropping 20 kilograms in less than half the time his doctors had predicted it would take.
“Mr. John came from Nairobi, [where] he was on dialysis for about a year,” says Dr. Sankaran Sundar, Chief Nephrologist at Columbia Asia Hospital. “When he came to us, his weight was a little bit high for [kidney] transplant, so we suggested he go on a rigorous diet…he being a good patient, he followed our diet, followed all our instructions, and in a couple months’ time he lost 20 kilograms and we could do the transplant.”
John’s brother was the live kidney donor; both surgeries went smoothly, and John came off dialysis promptly. “For kidney failure, the ideal treatment is transplantation,” Dr. Sundar explains, “because with transplantation, you can get back to near normal life.”
And back to normal life John is. “Special mention about NHIF, because they funded the trip. For traveling, I highly recommend A&K [Global Health]. They went and got visas for us, they helped with passports, they took over the whole thing…even payment! We were so comfortable, because anything that we needed, we just told A&K.”
John’s accolades were sincere: upon returning to Kenya, he promptly wrote a letter of appreciation to the head of the NHIF, commending their financial support and A&K Global Health’s exceptional care management.
Hear John’s experience in his own words:
In the photograph above: John Mwangi (left), and his brother and kidney donor Gideon Mwangi (right), listen intently during a meeting with John’s nephrologist at Columbia Asia Hospital in Bangalore, India. John’s A&K Global Health-facilitated kidney transplant was a complete success, and he is now back to normal life in his home country of Kenya.
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