Simon prepares for ride after transplant

W23616H14 Simon Gregory and his family will tackle the London to Brighton cycle ride on Sunday
W23616H14 Simon Gregory and his family will tackle the London to Brighton cycle ride on Sunday

ALMOST a year after undergoing a kidney transplant, a man will tackle a London to Brighton charity cycle ride alongside family members to celebrate his recovery.

Simon Gregory, 29, of Avondale Close, Durrington, was diagnosed with urinary reflux – a condition where the bladder does not empty properly and urine is passed back through to the kidneys, leading to infection – after a visit to the doctors, aged five. Following the diagnosis, Simon had to undergo life-threatening surgery to correct the issue.

It was not until the early stages of 2013 that Simon’s kidney problem flared up again, resulting in him going on dialysis. He had an operation on June 4, 2013, and just six weeks later he took part in the London to Brighton night ride in aid of the British Heart Foundation.

He said: “My body was still adapting to having all this fluid. I was getting two litres put into my body and the over-night one used to really bloat me. That was a bit of a struggle, I was quite new to the dialysis and halfway through the ride it started getting painful, but I pushed through.” Just days after completing the ride, Simon received a call from St George’s Hospital, in London, saying that a kidney had been found for him suitable for transplant.

He said the recovery process took around three months. This year’s day ride falls on June 15, Simon’s 30th birthday and Father’s Day. Simon’s wife, Rebecca, his dad, Mark, his sisters, Lauren and Rachel Gregory, father-in-law, Adrian Watson, mother-in-law, Davina Watson and brother-in-law, Duncan Foster will be riding by his side. “We have been doing a lot of training since Christmas to get fit again,” said Simon.

Simon’s mum, Sue Gregory, 47, also of Avondale Close, said the family were ‘so proud’, adding: “In last year’s bike ride, we were quite anxious, but he said to me, ‘If it kills me, at least I died doing something I loved’. The doctors said he would have died from kidney failure at the age of ten or 11 if they hadn’t have found it. When he had his operation aged five, they told us it was as life- threatening as open heart surgery.”

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