Agonising wait for transplant
BEFORE receiving a kidney transplant in 2014, Dinmore's Lima Alapati Vaoa had to endure five hours of dialysis three days a week.
That debilitating treatment lasted 11 years until a donor kidney from a baby was offered to her, a gift that transformed her life.
"I wrote a letter and a card to the family to say thank you so much and I hope to see you to thank you in person because you have changed my life," Ms Alapati Vaoa said.
She joined the team from the Ipswich Hospital Renal Dialysis Unit last week to mark Kidney Health Week and thanked the staff for how they helped her.
Ms Alapati Vaoa was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2003 after suffering extreme nausea for a week and had previously experienced lack of energy and bouts of nausea.
Until she received the transplant her life had been ruled by the continual hospital visits and she admitted it was difficult to continue the treatment.
"I said to the doctor 'Why do I have to do dialysis' and they said that was the only option for me. I asked 'Why five hours?' If it wasn't for the doctors and nurses at Ipswich Hospital to push me to come to dialysis I wouldn't be here," she said.
"I have three kids. They said who is going to look after your kids if you don't come here, so it hit home, I wanted to be there for my kids."