Grandfather starts online diary about quest for new kidney

A retired restaurant owner in need of a new kidney has set up a Facebook page to raise awareness of his condition.

Emir Djevdet, 66, suffers from kidney failure and is waiting for an organ transplant
Emir Djevdet, 66, suffers from kidney failure and is waiting for an organ transplant

Emir Djevdet, 66, suffers from kidney failure and has been on dialysis for three years while he waits for an organ donor.

He previously defied doctors’ expectations with his first kidney transplant in 1990, which lasted 24 years – despite being treated for cancer during this time.

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But in 2014 it was removed after dropping to two per cent function levels.

In that time, Emir, from Windermere Crescent, Worthing, has raised his four sons and seen the birth of his three grandchildren – and he hopes with a new transplant he will see them grow up too.

He said: “For 24 years I worked very hard to look after the boys – they were very small. God helped me through the last 24 years.

“They are my life; I am so happy,” he said as he fought back tears.

With the help of his son Jeff Djevdet, 39, Emir set up the ‘A Kidney for Emmy’ page on Facebook, where he documents his daily life on dialysis while he waits for a compatible donor.

Emir needs a B or O blood group match, and said he has been told the waiting list could be as long as eight years.

He currently receives three four-hour sessions of dialysis at Worthing Hospital a week.

Jeff said: “A lot of people don’t know how hard it is unless you are connected to someone with a condition.

“If you saw Dad in the street he doesn’t look amazingly well, but if you know the journey you understand.

“The last six months have been very tough; he had nine operations in four months in January through to April.”

The operations were to solve complications with Emir’s grafts: synthetic pieces of tubing inserted into his arms, hips, legs and chest to allow his blood to be transferred into the dialysis machine.

He is also on a very strict diet which rations watery foods and is not allowed to drink more than 500ml of liquid a day.

If he does, the excess liquid that he is unable to pass causes his limbs to swell or could get trapped in his lungs.

Jeff said: “Because of our Mediterranean background it is hard for Dad, because our diet consists of lots of salad and vegetables.”

Born in Cyprus, Emir moved to Britain in 1967. In 1984, he set up Neptunes fish and chip shop in Montague Street but had to sell the business in 1988 when his kidneys failed.

In 1990, after his transplant, he set up King Pizza in Salvington and Golden Place fish and chip shop in Ashington in 2001.

Emir has said that once he gets his kidney, he would like to go on holiday – something which dialysis makes very difficult.

“I would like to live in peace; I worked very hard to retire, and then this happens. It isn’t easy to swallow.”

To find out more about Emir’s journey on his Facebook page, click here.