Edit: Thanks so much for the silver & gold guys!

My main purpose for jumping on this AMA is to help people become more aware of kidney transplants, whether they're about to donate, thinking of donating, or have donated before.

Donate, donate, donate, people! Be a good citizen and help people live, laugh and love!

Update 1: My blood bag will be removed today and it's looking like I'll be discharged tomorrow! Yay! I'm walking more frequently and breathing much better.

Update 2: I received a phone call from my dad in ICU today and it seems like he's recovering well and on schedule. He'll be moving to his private room soon and will remain there until he is discharged! Everything's looking upwards!

Comments: 711 • Responses: 81  • Date: 

Fudge89382 karma

Hows your father doing?

Le-Bandicoot626 karma

It's been 2 days since surgery, and I haven't seen him since. As a donor, my recovery is speedier, and I've only spent a day in ICU. My father on the other hand hasn't come out of ICU yet. I honestly don't know how he's doing, but I hope he's recovering well and that his body is not rejecting my kidney. Updates to follow.

SuperDuperDylan224 karma

Are the doctors unable to update you on his progress?

Le-Bandicoot585 karma

He's in a private and isolated ICU. I just asked the doctors for an update and I'm glad to say he's recovering without any problems.

hypoxiate78 karma

It might be another day or two before tie allowed to see him since his immune system is quite suppressed at the moment.

Le-Bandicoot53 karma

Quite true.

i_lurk_here_a_lot305 karma

How is your father doing and how is the prognosis ?

Also, Good on you for saving your father.

And Congratulations to your father for having such a great son!.

Hope you both live a happy, healthy and long life.

  • (From your Indian cousin :-).

Le-Bandicoot158 karma

Haven't heard from the doctors regarding my father as of yet. I can only hope that he's recovering well in ICU. Hopefully I'll get to see him before I get discharged. Thanks so much for your kind words.

MindManifesting118 karma

How you doing?

Le-Bandicoot167 karma

When I woke up, it hurt like hell.. But my recovery is going well. I'm beginning to breath better and I'm starting to walk around, albeit a little sore.

hypoxiate82 karma

The more you walk the faster you'll heal. It's a bitch to get in and out of bed and chairs but it gets the anasthetic out of your system faster and the blood circulating will help you heal better.

Le-Bandicoot75 karma

Yeah I've had these things wrapped around my legs to help circulate the blood. It is a bitch to get in and out of the bed but it's getting more and more bearable the more I exercise.

Demojen113 karma

..............soooooo....What do they eat in terms of "fast food" as a staple in Fiji? Anything I can find in Canada?

Le-Bandicoot120 karma

Although Taro and corned beef is a good drunk food, McDonald's and Burger King is what we have

Miss_Southeast27 karma

How do you cook the taro? Boil then mash?

Le-Bandicoot58 karma

Just boil and eat lmao

TheCheeseSquad33 karma

I freaking love that stuff! My bf is Fijian and I'm Indian. You guys have the best freaking curries and pulao.

Le-Bandicoot48 karma

Lol I know the curries in Fiji are so much better than curries anywhere else! Preach it sistahh!! Hahah

TheCheeseSquad5 karma

Duck curry mmmmm :))

Le-Bandicoot18 karma

Hahaha what even is "butter chicken"? A good duck curry is the perfect chaser.

Le-Bandicoot9 karma

Or make chips

Ipeddlebuttplugs7 karma

Bruh. My family is from PNG Taro and corned beef is the fucking beeeest. Like I'll kill a man for some Ox and Palm.

Le-Bandicoot7 karma

Hahahaha Ox and Palm is gold!

arghhmonsters7 karma

Taro and corned beef

extra_specticles10 karma

Am in NZ please tell me this facination with taro. I keep hearing it's poisoness!

Le-Bandicoot26 karma

Lmao it's not poisonous. It just makes your throat itchy if you eat it raw or uncooked.

chosenamewhendrunk88 karma

You are an awesome human being, in order to make this a question...Do you have a favourite memory of your father from growing up? Or something you would never let him forget?

Le-Bandicoot181 karma

Thank you for your kind words!! My father is a hydrographic surveyor. He owned a big boat and he'd map the sea floor for possible oil wells, shipping routes and shipwrecks etc. My favorite memories with my father are being with him exploring the South Pacific Ocean with CCR playing on the radio. And diving together when we discovered shipwrecks.

chosenamewhendrunk73 karma

That sounds so cool. You had the best 'take your kid to work' days ever.

Le-Bandicoot45 karma

Hahah I truly did. Thanks!

Shaysdays67 karma

What kind of side effects will you go through?

Le-Bandicoot146 karma

According to my doctor, transplant specialist and the nephrologist, after two weeks I will be back to normal and can go ahead with life as normal. I just need to quit smoking and not become an alcoholic.

Shaysdays63 karma

You didn’t have to quit smoking first? (No judgement, just curious.)

Le-Bandicoot140 karma

Actually I did have to quit before surgery, and I did. Now I just hope to continue this no smoking rule after I'm discharged from hospital.

clopmaster1857 karma

What’s it like living in Fiji? Being from America, it’s always been a dream to visit Fiji.

Le-Bandicoot108 karma

Fiji is an amazing place to live. An amazing lifestyle. But working in Fiji can be a bit of a hassle as everyone seems to be on Fiji time. Other than that, we work, then on the weekends we have so many choices of things to do, from fishing, to island exploring, to 4wd-ing to waterfall exploring to hiking and so much more. Let me know if you ever come over.

clopmaster1832 karma

Care to elaborate on “Fiji time”?

Le-Bandicoot99 karma

'On Fiji Time' can be anywhere between 5 minutes to 3 hours after any said prescribed time. It means everything is casual and there is no schedule. Makes it hard if you're working and need something done pronto hahah. But Fiji is amazing and the people are too.

whiney154 karma

Why India, cheaper? How is the general professionalism?

Good on you though!

Le-Bandicoot142 karma

Indias medical industry is just much more advanced than Fiji. Needless to say, they are highly professional here & we've been looked after really well from the moment we landed in Delhi.

ljnr16 karma

Why not New Zealand or Australia? They’re much closer.

Le-Bandicoot91 karma

Actually, We're also NZ citizens. My father could have done it in NZ for FREE. But he's been in the system (on the list) for the last 8 years. Aside from that, they do not allow living and consenting donors (like me). So aside from being on a list that prefers children etc., he'd also have to wait until a registered donor died before receiving a kidney. They practically wanted him to just go on dialisys, but that just wasn't going to be an option, as our whole lives, and careers are based in Fiji. Going to NZ would not have been viable. (No house, no income etc.) So we decided India was a better option, quicker and more professional.

jonloovox-32 karma

Are you allowed to eat Indian food while your kidney pouch heals? You are a porcelain skin beauty.

i_lurk_here_a_lot19 karma

You are a porcelain skin beauty.

wtf does this mean ?

Le-Bandicoot8 karma

That's definitely a first.. Haha

IllegalD17 karma

There is a very large ethnic Indian population in Fiji, it could be his fathers home.

Le-Bandicoot20 karma

True, but not the case! Haha

mgh2031 karma

So what's the hospital food in India like?

Le-Bandicoot33 karma

Actually, it's quite alright. I don't have a problem with it at all. It's not strictly curries you can get anything at the hospital here!

synsa24 karma

Is any of it covered by insurance? I imagine it's really expensive?

Le-Bandicoot47 karma

Not covered by insurance. I think the operation alone has cost us $16,000 USD. Which is pretty much doubled when converted to our Fijian currency. And we haven't even factored in accommodation and meals.

sarahm0ses27 karma

Wow 16,000! Do you have a go fund me or anything set up for costs or will you be able to handle that okay? Mine transplant in the US cost almost a million. Luckily I had multiple types of insurance.

Le-Bandicoot43 karma

No, no such thing. We had to sell a few assets to afford the transplant costs. So we're handling it all on our own by working hard and saving.

Le-Bandicoot37 karma

A million? WTF..

MichaelScottOfReddit14 karma

I'd imagine you can't get health insurance for another country

Le-Bandicoot7 karma

Yep. And right before a surgery.

Todesfee_22 karma

Did you have any fears or anxiety before going into surgery?

Le-Bandicoot49 karma

Yeah, only one fear I had. Ever seen the movie 'Awake'? It's where this one guy goes into surgery and the anesthesia doesn't work properly and he's still conscious but can't move or speak.. Thankfully it never happened hahaha.

amadrasi22 karma

I know medical tourism is a thing in India as I see many middle easterners and north african patients in any of the big hospitals here in India. How did you come about finding which hospital you wanted to go to? Are there people who plan this trip out for you? And are you charged extra for being a foreign national?

Le-Bandicoot25 karma

Yes we had an agent in Fiji who happens to be a family friend, and all her clients seemed to be very happy with the service. Yes - allot of middle eastern and North African nationals in big hospitals here in Delhi. We paid international prices.

bucketofsoup21 karma

When you and your father recover, how are you going to celebrate?

Le-Bandicoot64 karma

Probably travel to Kathmandu, Nepal and view Mt. Everest and all the old Hindu and Buddhist temples. It's only a 3 hour flight from Delhi.

iam_w0man18 karma

Bula kimuni! What do you do for work in Fiji?

Le-Bandicoot18 karma

I work for an engineering firm and consultancy!

poopsackzac13 karma

What is your favorite kind of soup?

Le-Bandicoot23 karma

The eight variety hot and sour soup from The Grest Wok of China every Wednesday.

suckerpunch08512 karma

What's the first thing you are going to do when you leave the hospital?

Le-Bandicoot38 karma

My former self wouldve said "have a cigarette", but that definitely won't happen, so the first thing I'm going to do when I leave hospital is eat some ice cream. It's a toss up between butterscotch or Belgian chocolate.. What do you think?

santalopa14 karma

Have the Belgian chocolate at an ice cream chain in Delhi called Giani's. Beware, there are many fakes. I loved it so much that I brought it back with me whenever I travelled to New Delhi!

Le-Bandicoot4 karma

Awesome! Thanks for the tip, I'll go check it out!

pazpaz2612 karma

What do you enjoy doing for fun with your father?

Le-Bandicoot18 karma

Going fishing, and restoring antique engines with my dad just about sums up what we enjoy doing together.

latduke8711 karma

How long did the process take for them to approve you as a donor? And how much time elapsed between being a defined as a match and the surgery itself?

Le-Bandicoot17 karma

The process to approve me as a donor took exactly one month, and included cross matching, psych evals etc. And if I recall correctly, only 2 days had passed after I was defined as a match before I went into surgery. Quite quick.

pockrasta10 karma

This is amazing to hear. You're a really great son. I wish you both speedy recovery. I have a doubt, will you both be able to live the normal way and up to the normal lifespan if you follow a good diet and things go well?

Le-Bandicoot7 karma

Most definitely. As long as we remain active, hydrated and follow a healthy balanced diet, we'll live quite normally. In fact, most people are born and live realitvely healthily with only one kidney throughout their whole life!

unwokebuddha5 karma

My mom was born with a single kidney, she's 64 now and still healthy.

Le-Bandicoot2 karma

Yep, there's a few people I know that were born with one kidney and remain healthy. It's a little common!

diego-d10 karma

Facing exactly the same situation myself with my father. What does getting tested as a donor involve? How do they determine if you're a match, or not a match? And are there any tests done to test the donor's susceptibility to developing kidney disease in the future in which case it wouldn't be ideal to donate if there was a high probability (No idea if such a test exists but would seem prudent). Is there any reduction to life expectancy for the donor?

Le-Bandicoot12 karma

Send me a personal message man, and I'll show you all the tests I had to do etc. It took a month of testing to finally get a surgery date.

resetmypass10 karma

So, when are you planning to go on your walk-about?

Le-Bandicoot31 karma

Pretty soon! I can feel a poop coming soon hahaha. Oh this one's gonna hurt.

notmilin9 karma

Wishing you and your father a speedy recovery!

Why did you chose to do the donation in India?

Le-Bandicoot18 karma

Thanks for your kind words. India, is much quicker, more reliable and more professional than Fiji.

JackBadassson7 karma

Is your father Anthony Cooper?

Le-Bandicoot2 karma

Not since I last checked

OnlineExpat7 karma

Do you leave near a beach? If so, what issues arise from living close to a beach? I live in a huge city in the Philippines, but I'm thinking of moving to a different island and living in a beach town.

Le-Bandicoot8 karma

Go live on a beach my friend. Only two issues, if you get a house right by the beach, be prepared to sweep sand off your floors everyday and wipe salt from your windows too. And also, beach life can get relatively slow compared to the city. But worth it though.

1v1mecunt7 karma

Did you fear dying while going into the surgery? If so how did you control it?

Le-Bandicoot9 karma

I did at first, but then it's all over with before I even realize it's happened

mastereset7 karma

What were your thoughts when you found out you were a match? Were there any considerations that could have held you back?

Le-Bandicoot26 karma

No considerations whatsoever. It was just a straight decision from the moment I found out I was a match. Nothing could've changed my mind. I knew it was the right thing to do.

mmscomic6 karma

Do you weigh less?

Le-Bandicoot19 karma

I havent checked yet but boy I really hope I do weigh less.

The_Kwyjibo5 karma

If you could have any rugby player in the world play for Fiji,who would you choose? (Preferably not someone of Pacific island descent as that's just cheating)

Le-Bandicoot4 karma

Oh it would be a toss up between Rory Best as hooker or Rob Kearney at full back. Whaddya think?

goombatch4 karma

I have been waiting for my recipient to get medically cleared since July when we were matched. He is an old friend and had cancer. We should be cleared to proceed to scheduling this month and the transplant should be next month. Was yours a laparoscopic surgery? I understand they make two small holes (or ports) around your rib cage and a big incision at the beltline. What else can you tell us about the procedure itself? Thank you for sharing your experience with this AMA!

Le-Bandicoot4 karma

Hey! You're a good person for donating to your old friend. I'm sure he is really grateful for it. Mine was laparoscopic surgery. That is how they perform most transplant surgeries for the donors. The doctor told me that they only cut you right open if something were to go wrong midway through, as the donor is the most important person on the table.

Donors are typically in hospital for around 5 days from admission, including 1 day in ICU. Recovery is quite speedy for the donor. It'll be over in no time, so no need to worry about it. You'll be fine. The recipient however will most likely be in ICU for 5 days, and then on hospital rest for a further 5 days before he is discharged. That is our experience.

If you have any more questions, just send me a private message buddy. You're a good person! And I'm sure your friend is very grateful for ya.

abiblicalusername4 karma

In your most honest words, what does your father represent to you?

Le-Bandicoot8 karma

Well, quite honestly, he's a LEGEND. He raised me well and taught me how to become a good standing citizen and a good man. He has a big heart and I admire that.

sugarbaby1013 karma

can you still drink alcohol with 1 kidney? maybe a dumb question but i always wondered... what other (if any) life changes will you have to make living without a second kidney?

Le-Bandicoot4 karma

I can indeed drink alcohol with one kidney. I just have to stay hydrated, adopt an active lifestyle and eat a balanced diet.,

thostiane3 karma

Not to be insanely rude but you have a bit of a tummy. Did this complicate anything? I have a friend whos always wanted to be a donor but is rather large and i always thought it would REALLLY mess things up.

Le-Bandicoot6 karma

The doctors were not concerned whatsoever. They did tell me to partake in a more active lifestyle post op though, and a healthy diet. Which I admit I never did before surgery.

endlessbull3 karma

Fiji is great and so is India. However, you must have been shocked by the difference in culture even if you have an Indian heritage. Are you Hindu or Muslim? What we some of the biggest surprises? What city did you go to for the operation? Have you driven night too? Feel crowded?

Le-Bandicoot7 karma

The culture shock is crazy. I'm not of Indian descent. I'm half Fijian, half NZ. The biggest surprise in Delhi is how nobody obeys road rules hahaha and the smog is crazy. I haven't seen the stars ever since I arrived here. It's very crouded here.

endlessbull2 karma

Sorry to assume your heritage. If you have time check out some of the historical sights and or temples. Street food is great but make sure you watch it get cooked. Have friends who plan to do a tuktuk race from northwest to southern India. They've never been there. I told them it's crazy. I've made several trips there and loved it. Trains are usually late and domestic flights canceled on me 3 of 5 times. But it's so exotic... Great place to see the sights. Btw where in Fiji are you from?

Le-Bandicoot3 karma

Wow tuktuk race across India?? Sounds epic! Hahaha I'm planning on going to Nepal afterwards. I've been to a few historic sites already, including the Taj Mahal! I'm from Pacific Harbour!

SpaceChook2 karma

I lived in Fiji for a few years as a kid. Do the Suva swimming pools still have a fried rice stand?

How’d the coup(s) affect you and your family?

Le-Bandicoot3 karma

I grew up with, and still have a pool at my house, so I'm unsure of that fried rice stand hahaha. The coups did affect our family greatly, as our business was largely funded by the US. Once the coups happened, and then GFC of '08, the US cut their funding and it was hard for us to gain back our business. We got through it though.

Tammytalkstoomuch2 karma

Where in Fiji are you from? My husband was born in Suva, but grew up in Labasa and we have family in Tavua. Hope you're recovering well, and your father as well, you are a hero.

Le-Bandicoot2 karma

Hi! We're from Pacific Harbour..

Le-Bandicoot2 karma

Thanks for your kind words

YTAftershock2 karma

How's Delhi?

Le-Bandicoot6 karma

Crowded, hectic, crazy, lots of smog. Big culture shock haha

Shencer012 karma

How would the procedure in India differ from in Fiji? Why did you decide to go to India?

Le-Bandicoot14 karma

Kidney transplants aren't a thing in Fiji as of yet. We dont have that many specialists. We decided to go to India because it was quick, reliable and highly professional.

scaram0uche2 karma

How long was the process for you as a donor? Is this his first transplant? How long was he on the list?

My sisters and I were all potential donors for my dad until he had a change in antibodies and we went on a paired exchange. He got a miracle call on January 15th and got a donor! It was 19 months of dialysis and this is his second transplant (first one lasted 17.5 years).

If anyone else is reading this, be sure to be an organ donor and consider being an altruistic kidney donor - call your local transplant center for more info!!

Le-Bandicoot2 karma

Wow! I'm so happy for your father and your family. I'm glad you were able to get a good and deserving outcome. My dad was on the list for some 8 years and when we decided to get it over and done with in India, I put my hand up for the job. This was his first transplant. It only takes me 5 days in hospital including one day in ICU as a donor.

Yes people - donate, donate, donate!

Tripleshotlatte2 karma

How's the water in Fiji?

Le-Bandicoot5 karma

Like Fiji Water?

KarSans2 karma

What a coincidence! I too just underwent kidney transplant in Delhi.Which hospital btw?

Le-Bandicoot4 karma

Max Hospital in Ghaziabad

MagicMulberry2 karma

Bula si’a! Where are you from in Fiji?

Le-Bandicoot2 karma

Io Bula! I'm from Pacific Harbour 😊😊 And I can't wait to go back home haha

Wildkarrde_2 karma

I work with a Fiji Iguana. How aware is the average Fiji citizen of conservation work in your country? How supportive is the government and people of preserving species?

Le-Bandicoot5 karma

Conservation is quite big in Fiji. Our Prime Minister is a very big advocate, and he addressed this topic at COP23 summit. In fact, we used to own a large boat and most often our clients were organisation's that needed to get out to small islands for conservation efforts. A lot of my friends from school got into conservation. Our nation is quite involved when it comes to recording and notifying relevant authorities on endangered species. Im quite proud of my country for this!

Boromax2 karma

Hey, I was wondering are there any difficulties that can happen in future because of this? Also, you mentioned in one of replies that you have to stop smoking and not to become alcoholic, does it mean that alcohol is forbidden for you now, or only in big doses?

Thanks for replying in advance, and good luck with recovery!

Le-Bandicoot2 karma

Alcohol is not necessarily forbidden, I just can't be going out every second or third night and getting drunk. A drink or two after work is fine, or alternatively, a nice night out with friends on a Saturday. And as I've mentioned in other replies, I just gotta maintain an active lifestyle and diet. And stay hydrated.

ryusufu2 karma

Wish you and your father a quick recovery bro, your father will be proud of you. I'm just CURIOUS, why didn't you have the surgery in Fiji (wouldn't it be cheap?) Or Australia?

Le-Bandicoot5 karma

India is more reliable, professional, and a much quicker process. Thanks for your kind words!

addisonclark2 karma

Since all the good questions have already been asked... can you please tell me all about Fiji? It’s been my dream vacation for so long and I’ve never known anyone to have been there or been from there to know if I’m wasting my dreams...

Le-Bandicoot3 karma

Your not wasting your dreams. Fiji is amazing and any attempt to describe it would be unjust. Work hard, save up, and go see for yourself.

RenegadeUK2 karma

What is the reason for being transferred to an Indian Hospital as opposed to a hospital in another country eg New Zealand or even being treated in Fiji ?

Le-Bandicoot2 karma

India is much more quicker, more reliable and more professional.

whims-and-worries2 karma

Doing alright so far?

Le-Bandicoot3 karma

Recovering well so far. Starting to walk. Breathing better. Hopefully I'll be out soon.

whims-and-worries7 karma

Awesome!! Take it easy, but for sure get moving sooner than later if the doctors/nurses say it's ok. Moving around prevents pneumonia and blood clots and stuff. Also, I have found a video that I have prescribed you to watch to feel better:

Le-Bandicoot3 karma

Hahaha thanks! I needed that!

Mystery_Substance1 karma

Was it a difficult decision for you to make to donate?

How many of your relatives were tested?

Were you the only approved donor of your family/friends and if so why did they decide on you?

Thank you for reading.

Le-Bandicoot2 karma

Both my brother and I were tested and a match. But I put my hand up first. It just was a no-brainer for me, I knew I had to do it.

secondhand_goulash1 karma

Do you know my friend Dinesh Patel?

Le-Bandicoot1 karma

No, why?

Bruhmine-1 karma

Do you notice you are missing an organ?

Le-Bandicoot1 karma

Only by the pain that I'm feeling right now hahaha but other than that, no, not really.