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Terminally ill woman asks for kidney for Christmas

21 Dec 2022 4 minute read
Diana Isajeva receiving treatment

A terminally ill woman has been using social media to search for a kidney donor this Christmas.

Diana Isajeva has kidney failure and says her ‘time is running out’.

In a post published on social media, Diana said: “This Christmas, all I want is to find a kidney donor.”

Lithuanian born Diana moved to Wales when she was 12 years old and was diagnosed with Lupus at the age of 18.

She received regular chemotherapy to help suppress the illness and the treatment allowed her to live a relatively normal life working as an intellectual property paralegal.

When the Covid pandemic happened, Diana says her treatment had to be delayed and her Lupus returned, attacking her kidneys.

Diana graduating Cardiff Law School


Diana said: “My doctors thought my Lupus was stable and my chemo was delayed for a couple of months during Covid, then I went into kidney failure.

“30 strangers from all over the UK have so far volunteered to be a donor for me, but none were a match.”

Potential donors are carefully assessed to check their tissue type and must be deemed fully fit and healthy.

This process can take a 3 – 4 months to test, sometimes even longer if there are any complications.

Having a live donor means that patients don’t have to go on the national waiting list and can it provide a solution before the patient needs dialysis.

Quality of life

A kidney transplant is considered to provide a better quality of life compared to going on dialysis which Diana says would leave hooked up to a machine for eight hours a day.

Most patients who receive a donated organ will see they kidney function return to normal around a year after surgery and provide a much more normal life in terms of work and travel.

She said: “Because my Lupus attacked my heart a few years ago and dialysis effects the cardiovascular system, each session would be like running a marathon whilst bed bound.

“My doctors have told me I will get to the point when I will have to choose between dialysis and palliative care which is why I need a donor soon.

“If I don’t find a donor or go onto dialysis, I will die.”

Due to a shortage in organ donors, the waiting list for those needing transplants is now around three years long.

Opt out

The new opt out system for donating organs and tissue when you die states that if you don’t opt out, you will be treated as having no objection to being a donor.

However, family can still override the deemed consent system in Wales regardless of a potential donor’s preferences.

Diana with her husband before becoming terminally ill

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We are unable to comment on people’s individual circumstances, but we are sorry to hear about this woman’s situation and wish the best for her ongoing treatment and care.

“We would encourage her to talk to her kidney care team about any concerns and to access support whilst waiting for treatment.”

Diana is recently married and the couple had to cancel their honeymoon which they had booked in advance because she became too ill to travel.

They hope that if they find a kidney donor, they can one day have a family.

Diana said: “During the pandemic, vulnerable people like me were protected, but now I feel like I’ve fallen through the cracks and I’m forgotten.

“My time is running out.”

If anyone would like to help Diana you can contact her at: [email protected]

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