When he was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2016, all hope was lost for Charles Muhia. Not only had the illness caused him physical and emotional pain, it forced him to quit his job “to fight for his life.”
Often complaining of excruciating pain from head to toes and developing swollen legs, Muhia’s nephrologist at Nairobi South Hospital detected that his kidney function was gradually declining.
On December 2016, the doctor decided to place the former hotelier under dialysis treatment. Muhia, now 68 years, was supposed to be visiting the hospital twice a week.
But dialysis treatment was not only time consuming and demanding but also financially suffocating Muhia’s family.
More so, tests done on him showed that dialysis treatment was not yielding the positive results yearned for, a year down the line.
On March 2018, it was decided that a kidney transplant was the only viable treatment for him. The procedure was to be performed at Indiana Hospital and Heart Institute with Dr. Pradeep and Dr. Ashibiit.
The saying “blood is thicker than water” came into play. Muhia’s son ,Moffat, decided to donate the much-needed organ to his father.
“I knew right away that I wanted to donate a kidney to my dad, it was the only lifetime gift I could offer him apart from the material things,” Moffat told TV47 Digital.
India was the best destination to conduct the procedure, but the family had to part with KSh5 million. A series of fundraisers and lobbying, they were able to raise KSh3 million.
Hoping for a miraculous financial breakthrough, the family decided to fly to India even when they had not raised the required amount.
Upon reaching India, Moffat had to prove that he was not forced into donating his kidney, as is required under India’s ministry of health guidelines. They had to wait for another three months before the procedure could be given a go-ahead.
During this time, the family provided Moffat’s original birth certificate and the two had to undergo a DNA test to prove that indeed they were father and son.
After a difficult three-month period that seemed like a decade to the family, Muhia and his son were wheeled to the surgery room on 4th August 2019.
The kidney transplant was a success. Muhia took spent two weeks while Moffat took seven days at the ICU.
Charles has since regained his strength, with noticeable improvements in his health following the surgery. He has also experienced a much-improved urine flow and the disappearance of skin itching, caused by excess phosphorus in his system.
Although Charles Muhia is 68 years old, he likes to joke that his kidney is just half that age. However, he’s not kidding. His son is now 30 years.
“It’s an amazing, life-changing gift Moffat has given me. Honestly, it’s a story of God’s grace. I have so many things to be thankful for throughout this whole journey,” Charles told TV47 Digital.
Even after the transplant, Muhia is not sitting pretty. He still faces financial challenges because doctors prescribed drugs costing KSh30,000 to him.
Charles and his Son Moffat have since gone back to their normal routines and are already hitting the gym while advocating for people to consider being living organ donors to save lives.
“Whether it’s for a family member or someone else, just do it. In my experience, the gesture can be a positive impact on the life of another person,” Moffat says.