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Father gives his daughter a new lease on life

Anthony Felschow donated one of his kidneys to his daughter Jessica on September 11. Photo: Darryn Smith / Sunshine Coast Daily
Anthony Felschow donated one of his kidneys to his daughter Jessica on September 11. Photo: Darryn Smith / Sunshine Coast Daily Darryn Smith

CABOOLTURE'S Jessica Felschow looks set to recover from kidney disease and live a long and happy life, thanks to the bravery of her dad, Anthony.

The 15-year-old was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome when she was just two years old, and it left scarring around her capillaries and caused her to not process protein properly.

Inevitably, her kidneys failed and she started dialysis in September last year.

Anthony said he knew since Jessica was first diagnosed that she would need a kidney transplant eventually and he was happy to be the one to provide it.

"It was an easy decision," he said.

"No second thoughts at all whatsoever.

"It was one of the most emotional things I've done in my life.

"I feel really good about it now."

The September 11 operation was a success and Jessica has recovered much faster than expected.

There's a good chance the kidney coming from her father played a big part in this.

"Getting a kidney from a live donor particularly one who's related to you gives you the best chance," Anthony said.

"She just went ahead in leaps and bounds."

"The kidney was working straight away and all the tests are coming back good."

For Jessica, the surgery was absolutely life-changing.

She was on dialysis six nights a week, meaning sleepovers, friends' parties, salty food and sport were all off the table.

Even swimming was a no-go thanks to the necessary tubes - torture through a hot Queensland summer.

Jessica still has to steer clear of processed foods but otherwise looks set to live a normal life.

There's one more heart-warming chapter in this already touching story, the generosity of the Packer family, from Packer Leather.

Anthony hadn't earned enough sick pay to cover his six-week absence from work but Packer Leather paid him for the whole time when they didn't owe him a cent.

To add to this, the Packer family and many of the company's workers got together to give the Felschows "quite a large sum of money" to help with the recovery.

"I'm really grateful for the people I work for and with," Anthony said.

"A lot of people from day shift I've never met and they've put this money in from their own pockets.

"You see these things on TV shows but when you experience it yourself it's a true blessing."


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