Bennett Springs resident encourages community to take kidney risk tests

Peter de Mello. Picture: David Baylis d491962
Peter de Mello. Picture: David Baylis d491962

A BENNETT Springs resident who has had two kidney transplants is urging people get tested during Kidney Health Week.

When Peter de Mello (27) was 15, he went for a check-up where his doctor found that he had high blood pressure and protein in his urine, resulting in him having 25 per cent kidney function.

Mr de Mello then saw a nephrologist who did an ultrasound and biopsy.

He was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease, a disease where his body attacked his kidneys.

After a failed transplant in 2012, he started dialysis before getting a successful transplant in 2017.

Peter and Jess de Mello of Bennett Springs with their children L-R: Harper (5), Carmen (8) and Bailey (3). Picture: David Baylis d491962

The father of three said his disease was cleared after his second transplant.

“I get my kidneys tested every year just because of what I’ve gone through,” he said.

“Even though I am the only one in my family, it is more important to get tested because it is not always a genetic situation, which is why I get my kids tested every year.

“You don’t really see any symptoms besides fatigue, lack of urine output and fluctuation in weight.

“You can lose almost 90 per cent of kidney function without knowing until you get tested.”

He encouraged people to get their blood pressure tested by their GP as a precaution.

Kidney Health Week runs from April 8 to 14.

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