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Tucker gets new lease on life

Tucker gets new lease on life


How precious is life; and not just life, but a healthy, pain free, life?

Just ask Rawlson Tucker.

A year and a half ago, the 29-year-old Tucker, an electrical engineer with CCA in Canouan, started having dizzy spells and headaches, accompanied by vomiting, and on October 24, 2006, was diagnosed with kidney failure.{{more}}

Now, as the curtains are raised on 2008, he is back at work, feeling strong, after having a successful kidney transplant in Trinidad in June 2007.

“I have a new lease on life, a second chance,” the Chateaubeliar resident said last week when he spoke to SEACHLIGHT.

Tucker’s operation was made possible through the selfless love of his sister, Alison, 30, who saw the donation of one of her kidneys to her brother as a no-brainer.

“I wasn’t afraid. I didn’t have to think about it. He needed it, so I did it,’ she said.

“You can’t say you love somebody and see them in pain,” Alison said.

The operation was made possible by Dr Malcolm Samuel, who took the lead in Tucker’s case, after previous efforts to deal with the situation failed.

Dr Samuel is associated with the National Organ Transplant Unit in Trinidad and Tobago, and was part of the team that did Tucker’s surgery.

Dr Samuel said that Tucker had every reason to feel blessed because “it is very difficult to get a transplant.”

He said that while transplants are done in a couple Caribbean territories, he believes that the Trinidad and Tobago based programme, with which he is associated, is the only established programme of its kind in the English speaking Caribbean.

“In our setting, it is usually dialysis or death,” Dr Samuel said.

Dr Samuel told SEARCHLIGHT that he was happy to be able to assist a fellow Vincentian, “especially a young man with a bright future.”

He used the opportunity to encourage Vincentians to live healthy lifestyles, noting that diabetes and high blood pressure can lead to Kidney complications.

As for Tucker’s prognosis, Dr Samuel said that he looks in good shape, and all things being equal, he should be fine, once he follows all the guidelines for the next 20 to 25 years.