A brother’s love

A heartfelt kidney journey
Michaiyla Hansen
In the intricate tapestry of life, some threads are woven with remarkable resilience, love and sacrifice.

Albert and Christopher Arries, bound by blood and an extraordinary kidney journey, are a reminder that encapsulates the essence of hope and gratitude.

Albert Arries' life began with a rare kidney disease in 1985.

Born with a narrowing of the urethra, his life trajectory took an unexpected turn.

The narrowing obstructed waste extraction in the womb, leading to kidney failure. Despite the challenges, skilled doctors intervened, offering a glimmer of hope through surgeries and support. However, chronic kidney failure became a constant companion for Albert.

The pivotal moment arrived in 2013 when Albert confronted the reality of dialysis, a formidable process that demanded preparation for a long journey. Dialysis became a three-weekly ritual and a lifeline.

While the Namibian government provided commendable support, a lack of awareness about organ transplants proved a significant barrier.

Albert's initial attempt to find a suitable donor led to his mother, who, despite her willingness, faced age-related constraints that ruled her out.

Positive results

In 2016, his younger brother, Christopher Arries, stepped forward to undergo tests to determine if he could be a match. The tests yielded positive results, setting the stage for a journey that tested the bonds of family and the strength of brotherhood.

Christopher, a young aspiring athlete and accounting student with dreams of becoming a chartered accountant, decided to offer his kidney to his older brother.

The Arries brothers embarked on this journey with determination, love and the unwavering support of their family and friends.

Their destination was Cape Town, South Africa, where the transplant took place in mid-June 2017. The months leading up to the surgery were filled with preparations, both physical and emotional, and the support of their loved ones proved to be the bedrock that fortified them during this challenging time.

Fulfilled lives

Fast forward to the present, and it has been seven years since the life-changing transplant. Both Albert and Christopher are thriving, with annual check-ups ensuring their continued well-being. Albert remains on anti-rejection medication, a small price to pay for the gift of a healthy life.

Christopher, having fulfilled his dream of becoming a chartered accountant, stands strong as the healthy pillar of the family. The brothers' bond, forged through the crucible of adversity, is as robust as ever, evident in shared moments of tennis and golf.

Reflecting on their journey, Albert emphasised that living through such an experience becomes a daily practice of gratitude for the small mercies that come their way.

Both brothers acknowledged the role of faith and support from their families and friends, recognising the presence of God in their lives.

“We advocate for kidney health awareness in Namibia,” said Christopher. “My hope is to dispel the taboo surrounding organ transplants, urging society to better understand and support those in need,” said Albert.