Meeting Furhad Azad, 53, for the first time at his soft drink distribution shop in Nakuru town busy attending to his clients, it is hard to believe that he has undergone two kidney transplants in a span of 16 years.
The delicate and costly transplants have not hindered him from performing his duties.
“Unless I tell you I have undergone two kidney transplants there is no physical signs to show that because I’m carrying out my duties like any normal human being with two kidneys,” says Mr Azad.
“Having a kidney transplant does not make you a lesser human being as one can still live a normal life.”
He blames his kidney failure to the over the counter cheap medicines for treating malaria which put his kidneys in danger.
“When I fell sick and a physician proscribed me malaria drugs without doing the test, little did I know that was the beginning of my kidney failure.”
When he travelled to India for treatment, the doctor asked him how he succumbed to a kidney failure yet he had no history of high blood pressure or diabetes.
“After several tests, my doctor in India told me that the over the counter malaria medication I took were the main reason for my kidney failure.”
The first transplant was done in 2000 in India and his 72-year-old mother Firozbanu Azad was the first donor.
The second transplant was done in 2016 and his 26-year old first born son Naqib Furhad Azad became the second donor.
Mr Azad urges Kenyans to donate body organs.
“My son is gym instructor in Canada and therefore this notion that if one donates a kidney he will not perform other physical activities or will not be able to give birth is a big fallacy,” says the father of two grown up sons.
He says to manage a good life after the transplant, medicines must be taken on time.
The biggest challenge he has overcome over the years is the management of the expensive drugs he must take religiously for the rest of his life.
“When you undergo a transplant you must manage yourself well by making sure you don’t skip the drugs,” he explains.
“I have set up alarm for taking my drugs eight times a day and the first dose I take at 7am in the morning with the last dose coming at 10pm daily.”
One must also exercise a lot and be conscious about their diet.
Mr Fazad says to avoid kidney failure one must also observe the diet by eating white meat (fish and chicken) and a lot of vegetables and fruits to keep a healthy kidney.
“Kidney transplant patients live on steroids for the rest of their lives and the only way to empty the steroids from the body is to do exercise because steroids destroys your bones,” he adds.