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Not the end of the road

Diagnosed with kidney disease as a baby, Annick has a message for those facing the same diagnosis.

With her beaming smile always at the ready and a twinkle in her eyes, Annick Lim doesn’t look anywhere close to 67 years old. Nor does she look like someone dealing with a chronic illness. But the Penticton woman likes to joke about her age because though she is 43 years old, her kidney is actually 67 years old. “I don’t look like I have kidney disease but I do, and having a healthy kidney transplant has saved my life.”

Annick was diagnosed with kidney disease as a baby. By the time she got to her early twenties, her health was in decline and she was told she would need a kidney transplant soon. But she remembers being in denial about how ill she really was. “That’s the thing with kidney disease – most of the time, your symptoms are really hard to read.”

Her dad turned out to be a perfect match. On February 8, 1999, he and Annick underwent surgery at St. Paul’s Hospital under Dr. William Gourlay, now Surgical Director of the Renal Program. Both Annick and her dad recovered well. Annick has fond memories of the care she received from the staff at St. Paul’s. “They allowed my then-boyfriend Edmund (now husband) to stay in the ICU with me for over an hour while he fed me ice chips. I will never forget those precious moments.”

She wants people who are facing a new diagnosis of kidney disease to know they aren’t alone. “It’s not the end of the road. You CAN live with kidney disease and transplant IS possible. I’m so healthy now and I am grateful for the gift of life my dad gave me 19 years ago.”