WATCH: Darren contracted kidney disease at 41 due to limitless food and soft drinks
Aged 41 he became ill with kidney disease and had to visit the Renal Unit at Mater Dei Hospital three times a week. Darren Aquilina, a father of five children, is one of 300 people being treated for kidney problems.
On the World Day dedicated to Kidney Disease, Paul Calleja, the nurse responsible for the Renal Unit, urged people to look after their health by following a suitable diet and exercising daily.
Just over a year ago, Darren Aquilina began feeling very tired.
He said he was in his brother’s field and began to feel very cold. He went to hospital and was detained for tests and then informed that his kidneys are diseased.
Since then, Aquilina has been a regular patient at the Renal Unit which he has to visit three times a week to undergo four hour sessions each time.
Darren said he used to weight 180 kilos and never gave a thought about his diet.
He used to drink three large bottles of soft drink daily, eat sweets, chocolates and take a lot of energy drinks.
Currently, 300 patients are undergoing treatment for diseased kidneys, the youngest aged 18 and the oldest aged 90. Of these, 85 undergo home dialysis and many are hoping for kidney transplants. Nurse Paul Calleja also coordinates kidney transplants and urged people to take care of their health.
Calleja said the causes for kidney infections are diabetes, high blood pressure, a lack of exercise and an unsuitable diet.
He told TVM that this year two transplants have taken place from donors that are still alive and he appealed for the donations register which currently numbers 18,000 people, to continue to increase. He expressed satisfaction that two more people have offered a kidney donation, a gesture that he said is noble and comes from a kind heart.