12:00PM, Saturday 28 August 2021
A Windsor man who had 30kg kidneys is celebrating a double victory after a successful surgery and fundraiser for a new mobility aid.
Warren Higgs has Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), an inherited condition which caused his kidneys to swell to record sizes, severely affecting his mobility.
The condition became life-threatening when the kidneys started crushing Warren’s other vital organs.
Warren went under the knife earlier this month and is now recovering.
The main surgery was ‘easier than expected’ but there was a ‘hiccup’ in trying to connect Warren’s dialysis line.
But the journey is just beginning. He will need to be on dialysis until donor kidneys become available – and there is no knowing how long this could be.
He will need dialysis three times a week and the process takes a toll on the body.
“When I was in the hospital, the little things were taken care of, which leaves you with enough energy to do the big things, like the walking, climbing stairs and bike riding,” Warren said.
He added: “Its been a struggle being at home where you have to take care of the little things yourself.”
One obstacle is getting about.
At the moment Warren still needs to arrange transport to get to treatment even though it is close by.
Warren before his surgery
Fortunately, Warren has also been successful in his bid to raise money for a custom tricycle mobility aid.
He needed £10,000 for it, as this specialised, muscle-building trike is not available on the NHS.
Warren managed to raise more than £10,000 on GoFundMe, raising around half of that in just the last two months.
On the funding page, he wrote: “Thank you so much for helping me get my wheelchair to help with my next level of recovery.
“My wheelchair has been ordered from ICE (tricycle store), unfortunately they are behind due to COVID and it will not be ready until Christmas… but what a present.”
Another obstacle is the post-op recovery.
The surgeons had to cut through Warren’s core muscles to get to his kidneys. He will need to wait a few weeks for these to recover before he can start exercising as much as he would like.
“I want to do more but I have to be really careful with my core muscles, which is difficult, because we use them for everything,” he said.
“The hospital said it’s going to take time, and to go slowly, which isn’t me – I don’t like doing things slowly, especially when it comes to getting better.
“I’m used to pushing myself in the gym and outside, so I struggle with that,” he said.
Warren is most looking forward to the custom tricycle which will give him back his independence.
“Being able to go out on the trike is the next really big step. I can’t really go out until then because my walking still isn’t great,” he said.
“I want to get back in the community, just little things like going shopping or going into town, because I used to do that every day.
“It’s amazing that people have helped to pay for that (the trike) – £10,000 is a lot of money,” he added.
“It’s taken a lot of weight off my mind knowing that’s all done and dusted.”
Any surplus funds from Warren’s GoFundMe page will go towards a new manual wheelchair, a leg brace and arm brace, as well as Driven Forward, a local charity that supported him through COVID-19.