Singapore man, 70, has a kidney that is nearing 100 years old

SINGAPORE – Mr Kong Fook Seng may be turning 70 in October, but his kidney is 98 years old and counting.

It used to belong to his late father Kong Wing Hing.

“Having received a kidney from my father was God’s blessing, rather than having to lie down in bed to do dialysis,” said Mr Kong, who works in design project management at a semiconductor company.

Mr Kong was diagnosed in 1975 with chronic glomerulonephritis, an inflammation of the kidney’s tiny filters that remove excess fluid and waste from the bloodstream.

“Before that, I was playing football as a sport. Then I gradually lost the strength to kick the ball. After the game, I had to lie down on the field for an hour before I could get up to go home,” he said.

Mr Kong said he became very lethargic and got exhausted easily – climbing the steps to the overhead bridge took him 15 minutes.

“I even had to sit up while sleeping, otherwise I would have difficulty breathing,” he added.

Dr Sobhana Thangaraju, a senior consultant of renal medicine at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and SingHealth Duke-NUS Transplant Centre, said chronic glomerulonephritis develops silently over several years and can lead to severe damage, resulting in irreversible kidney failure.

It prevents the kidneys from removing excess fluids and waste from the body.

Mr Kong’s inability to breathe while lying down was due to fluid build-up in the lungs, she said.

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