A KIDNEY patient is being trained to perform dialysis on himself to help fit his treatment around his full-time work.

Staff at Basildon Hospital’s renal unit are training Colin Ashburn, 46, who suffers from kidney failure, to use specialist equipment to clean his blood so he can continue his job as a health and safety manager, in London.

The hospital encourages kidney patients to have dialysis at home, but the equipment is very bulky and Mr Ashburn, like many patients, has no room for it at home.

The married father-of-two, from Tilbury, said: “My employers are very accommodating about my condition, and I work my full hours by starting very early in the morning.

“But the job involves a lot of meetings and planning ahead, and that has to be fitted around the appointments in the renal centre, and what times the nurses have available.

“Being able to come into the renal unit and operate the equipment myself at times to suit me will make life a lot easier.”

Mr Ashburn has never smoked, does not drink alcohol, eats a healthy diet of fresh food and used to run ten miles after work – so he was shocked to be diagnosed with kidney failure three years ago.

In addition to his full-time work, he volunteered as a special constable for ten years, but six years ago his blood pressure and cholesterol levels rose suddenly, and as a former paramedic, he knew something was wrong.

He said: “I went from being really fit and active to feeling so tired I could hardly get out of bed, and having severe headaches.

“After a long time of trying to find out what was wrong, I changed my GP.

“The new one did a blood and urine test and sent me straight to hospital.”

Colin is on the list for a kidney transplant. Several people have offered to donate, but none of them were the right match, so for now, he is hoping to get a call from hospital on one of three mobiles he keeps with him at all times.

He cannot go on holiday with his family for this reason, but says he keeps a positive attitude and believes that he will be lucky enough to get a transplant.

He said: “Obviously I can’t do everything I want to do with my family, but my wife is really supportive and understanding.

“The kids have come to see me having dialysis to help them understand why I can’t always play with them.

“But in the meantime, being able to come and go at Basildon Hospital to suit my schedule will make a big difference. The care here has been fantastic, I really can’t fault it.”

Renal unit sister Santhy(CORR) Gopalan(CORR), who is training Colin to use the dialysis equipment, said: “Colin is a wonderful patient, like all our patients.

“He is learning very quickly because of his paramedic training, but of course we will take time to teach anyone to do self-care, if they want to do it and are suitable.”