Last year Morgans Bay surfer, Chris Bogers, wrote a heartfelt letter to Zag (Vol. 38.2) explaining how his kidneys were failing and that he was in search of a donor. Within days of the mag going on sale, Chris received a number of answers to his letter, including one from Port Alfred journalist David Macgregor. And although David’s kidney wasn’t a match, his follow-up story in the Daily Dispatch caught the attention of Gonubie grandmother Janet Stone, whose kidney was a match. Just last week, David sent us the happy ending to the story that appeared in the Daily Dispatch, which you can read below.
Chris at his Morgans Bay home, chilling with his trusty companion.
Surfer Keen to Ride the Waves Again after Lifesaving Kidney Operation
by: David Macgregor
Before Morgans Bay surfer Chris Bogers had a lifesaving kidney transplant last week, all he could think about was getting healthy and riding the waves again. “I still want to surf, but there are also more important things for me to do,” he said yesterday from his hospital bed in Cape Town’s Dr Chris Barnard Memorial Hospital.
Due to be discharged this morning (June 05), Bogers said he was now counting the days until he gets home so he can start raising funds to help less fortunate people get transplants and encourage others to become donors.
“I am very excited, I have finally found the reason for my existence. My whole life I have been searching for purpose and meaning, I can’t wait to get home so I can try help others.”
After two years of going for dialysis in East London three times a week while he struggled to find a kidney donor, Bogers finally got a match when the Daily Dispatch wrote about his plight and it struck a chord with Gonubie grandmother Janet Stone and she offered to help.
Thanks to Janet’s selfless actions, Chris will once again enjoy waves like this.
“Janet is a superhuman. Donating a kidney does not make you half the person you used to be, it makes you superhuman. When I saw her after the transplant I cried like a baby for an hour while she sat there holding my hand. I could have sworn she was glowing.”
Although Stone was back home collecting her grandchildren from school days after her kidney was removed, Bogers was kept in hospital in isolation to ensure his body accepted the healthy organ.
“I have cried so many tears of appreciation, gratitude and joy, a small part of Janet is inside me and I am alive.”
The Morgans Bay surfer, who is a firm believer in alternative healing and thinking, said doctors were amazed at how well his body had responded to the transplant. “I made a ball of everything humanity has to offer in my mind and mixed it with positivity and serenity.”
Bogers said acupuncture, organic medicine, shamanic intervention and something he has never done before – crying – had really helped. “The tears are helping my healing, they are good tears, they are softening the angular bits of my psyche.”
Stone, who was touched when she read about Bogers’ predicament in the Dispatch and remembered how he helped her son during a difficult time in their lives 20 years previously, yesterday said even though she was still sometimes in pain after the operation, she had no regrets.
“It has been a life-changing experience for me too. I have not only given [a kidney], I have received so much in return. The experience has restored my faith in humanity.”
Chris will be looking forward to some of this in the months ahead.
Stone said she was hoping to team up with Bogers when he returned to help him raise funds for people who were battling to get to hospital for a transplant and to find others to donate organs.
She said she hoped people hearing both sides of the story from a donor and recipient would be moved to do something if they could.
“The whole experience has made me more appreciative of life and what I have. I was driving home from the East London airport after the operation and I saw the trees and the river and they looked more beautiful than ever before.”
Original letter (click image to view larger version)