• Eastern Cape Rising Sun

School mates share a kidney

Updated: Oct 30, 2019

Kidney donor Lyle Hansen (right) gets support from his friend and the recipient, Simeon Goldblum in hospital.

East London’s Lyle Hansen (42) literally saved his good friend’s life when he donated his right kidney to Simeon Goldblum on October 22, 2019, at the Chris Barnard Memorial Hospital in Cape Town in the presence of both their wives.

The two met as learners in Hudson Park High School.

Goldblum (45) is now married to Vanessa and they have two children. Hansen is married to Kerry and they have two boys. Hansen is a cancer and organ donor activist who partakes in Iron Mans to promote awareness.

Goldblum suffered kidney failure at the age of 32 when it was found that he had high levels of protein in his urine, and his one kidney had shrivelled up completely.

He went through a series of tests and procedures. In 2015, his sister offered her kidney but there were complications and the transplant could not go through.

“It was devastating for all of us, my health got worse and I had to go on dialysis. The beginning was challenging as we used manual bags on a four-hourly rate per day. After three months, I got an overnight machine and travelled all over and it was not so bad,” said Goldblum.

The kidney’s main function is to filter and remove waste, minerals and fluid from the blood by producing urine. The kidneys work much harder and they have to filter more blood.

Two years ago, witnessing Goldblum’s struggle, Hansen made the decision to donate a kidney to his good friend in order to save his life. Numerous tests were done, and Hansen took part in his fourth Iron Man in 2019to raise awareness on organ donation.

The two friends are recovering in hospital after a successful procedure by surgeon Professor Elmin Steyn. Speaking from his hospital bed in recovery, Goldblum said, “My friend Lyle is a selfless guy, a good human being. I still haven’t found the words to thank you. Your gift is truly appreciated, I will take care of it till I die, I will live my life to do good for others as you have done for me,” he said in tears.

Hansen has been discharged from hospital and is in full health. It will take a few months before his friend can have an update on whether his body has accepted the kidney. In the meantime, Goldblum is still a bit high and has a sore throat from the pipes. He will undergo physio on his road to recovery.

According to Hansen, “It is important to spread the awareness especially in the Eastern Cape, there are a lot of people in need of kidney transplant, it is okay to donate a kidney. Let us be living donors,” said the father of two.


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