‘I can’t live a normal life’ ... ordeal of man kept alive by a machine

Reuben Farhall with his father Michael and dialysis nurses
Reuben Farhall with his father Michael and dialysis nurses

A man who has to depend on a machine to keep him alive is battling to raise awareness of kidney disease.

Reuben Farhall, 50, has had to undergo dialysis treatment every day for the past two years and is now desperately hoping for a kidney transplant.

But he has been told he could have to wait for up to eight years for the operation because of a lack of suitable donors.

All of his family have come forward to help, but none has proved a suitable match.

“Some days you just sit here and think how much more can you take. I can’t go and live a normal life,” said Reuben, from Roffey.

“I want to raise awareness of the fact that anyone can donate. If you have a good working kidney and the surgeon thinks you will cope with the operation, they will accept anybody, as long as it is not someone who has had cancer or has diabetes.”

Reuben has had kidney problems since birth but his condition worsened and he had to have one of his kidneys removed two years ago when his remaining kidney was also found to be diseased.

He has been making regular trips to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton for dialysis treatment ever since.

Now, however, a dialysis machine and all necessary equipment has been set up at the Horsham home of Reuben’s father Michael, who suffers from health problems himself.

Reuben added: “I know I’m not the only one in Horsham on dialysis.

“There are a lot of people around who have to go on dialysis but some people don’t realise you can do home dialysis.”

As well as being a life-saver, it has meant that Reuben – who suffers from a string of other ailments - and his 76-year-old father do not have to make the regular arduous trips to Brighton for treatment.

“When I had to go to Brighton every day and spend four hours on the machine, it was just no life. I got very low. I haven’t been able to go to work or do anything.”

Anyone who wants to find out more about kidney donation can call Sally Chapman or Noelle Harty on 01273 067478.