Category Archives: Richie Johnston, Wanaka, Richie, Johnston, Kidney, Snowboard, Whistler, Treble Cone, Wanaka

Being a Potential Donor. Part 2

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The bed slides forward and comes to a rest inside what looks like a dounut. My arms are above my head and I try to relax. ”inhale and hold your breath…’ I feel a warm rush pass through my body from the IV – into my chest, down into my abdomen, groin, fingertips & toes.

It is the iodine or tracer being pumped into my vein and eventually through my Kidneys. BEEP WHIR BUZZ ‘Now breath normally..’ The CT machine seems to have finished scanning my body. After six minutes I find myself inside the donut again getting another scan. I feel hungry thinking about donuts because I was not allowed to have any breakfast that morning. I am also busting to pee because of all the water the doctor told me to drink prior to the scan!

After two days in Dunedin I have had a Psychological Review, CT Scan and a meeting with the Doctor to see how everything is going. So far so good! My blood and tissue is a match with my Dad’s and the ball is rolling.

In a few weeks I will travel to Christchurch with Dad to meet with the surgeons and make a plan for the transplant. Today Dad leaves for Dunedin to start Dialysis. Not the best way to celebrate his Birthday but the results from the treatment will make him feel better and reduce the nausea. A coffee and a catch up with Mum & Dad was enjoyed in Wanaka yesterday instead.

Once again, If you or anyone else you know would like to know more information about this whole process I would love to listen & share more. Thanks for reading.

Being a Potential Donor

It has been well over a year now since I found out about my Dad’s Kidneys. They have deteriorated to the point where they’ve just about lost all their function. In about two weeks time, Rob will already have the tube put in and started the Dialysis treatment. This process will help him feel better and potentially reduce the assortment of drugs he currently takes on a daily basis.

Returning from Canada early this season was good because it allowed me to spend quality time with my Sister Rosie and of course Mum (Janey) & Dad. Lots of trips to visit were great because it meant I could bounce thoughts to them and of course get the hugs. The support from them along with friends has been amazing. It only takes a few moments to listen, but it certainly means a lot.

Last week I had a Radioactive fluid injected into my arm. Blood was taken at two hour intervals throughout the day to measure my bodies effectiveness of removing the radiation. The tests will continue, including a psychological assessment, CT Scan an numerous Doctor visits to Dunedin. If this all goes to plan then the operation may take place in October/November. To see my Dad healthy again, dancing Ceroc & Tango, walking up Mt Iron, cycling his cruiser, selling goods at the Farmers Market among many other things will make me and everyone around him very happy.

If you or anyone else you know is affected by Kidney disease, I Would love to hear from you. I hope the few photos i’ve posted share some insight on this whole process and perhaps make it easier for someone considering being a donor themselves. If you have any thoughts or questions I would love to hear from you.

Thank you,


The Caples Adventure

Friend and room mate Emile and I decided to go exploring. We chose the Caples track which is West of Lake Wakatipu, less than an hour drive from Queenstown. Two nights in the bush staying at the Upper Caples hut was a great way to switch off from the day to day life in Wanaka. Easy to follow tracks, inspiring views, friendly company along the way made for a great trip.

Getting grounded

After 3 weeks of being home in Wanaka, the feeling of being home is a good one. Lakes, mountains and the local bike tracks have kept me entertained and focused. A few cuts down my right leg after biking the Dean’s bank track along with my first experience paddle boarding to note a few.

I have been meeting with local Tourism operators and learning more about what I can offer them. The more I find out about this industry, the more I want to be part of it. Bring on the snow season and the challenges and successes that go with it.