Moncton motorbike buddies recovering after kidney transplant

Less than two weeks after donating his kidney to a friend, Troy Hebert says he's recuperating without any issues. Recipient Tom Mckay is also recovering well.

'I've got the chance to change someone's life,' says man who gave kidney to friend

Troy Hebert, left, and Tom Mckay head into the hospital for surgery on Sept. 7. (Courtesy Tom Mckay (Facebook))

Less than two weeks after donating his kidney to a friend, Troy Hebert of Moncton says he's feeling good.
So good, he's itching to get back to work.

"I'm bored," he said with a laugh. "I'm not the type just to sit around. I'm always doing something, so it's all going ahead of schedule."

Hebert's friend Tom Mckay, who also lives in Moncton, suffers from polycystic kidney disease and was tied to dialysis several times a week.

Mckay had to give up his motorcycle, a passion he and Hebert share. 

Hebert says he originally decided to be tested to rule himself out as a potential donor — but he turned out to be a perfect match. 

Troy Hebert of Moncton says donating his kidney to friend Tom Mckay wasn't an easy decision but one he's glad he made. (CBC News)

Hebert says it wasn't an easy decision, but once he made up his mind there was no turning back.

A year and a half later, he and Mckay were ready for surgery.

"I've got the chance to change somebody's life you know, so that was pretty cool."

Surgery took place Sept. 7 at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax — Mckay's 15th wedding anniversary.

Hebert says he felt a bit jittery before the surgery.

"The night before, not much rest for me to be honest," said Hebert. "Fear wasn't the thing, it was just like nerves.

"It took me some time to get up on my feet. It wasn't until late Friday afternoon and I tried walking and I had to come back and I finally made it to his room and I saw him.  It was hard … it was hard to keep the tears back."

New lease on life 

Tom Mckay says he's doing well.

"Having a new kidney means the world," he said, adding he's been kept busy with appointments during the delicate post-transplant three-month "danger zone."

"After that, the world is my oyster."

Kara Ricker-Mckay, Tom Mckay's wife, visits after his transplant surgery. (Courtesy of Tom Mckay (Facebook))
Mckay is out of the hospital but still in Halifax, where his progress is being monitored.

Hebert says his recovery has been smooth. 

"They told me I'd be laid up for like a week to a week and a half ... that lasted four days," he said. "I've been off pain meds from the Monday following so … I think I'm doing above average.

Troy Hebert took this picture of Tom Mckay from his hospital bed. Mckay had just been moved into the room. (Courtesy of Troy Hebert.)
"I've gotten in trouble from the girlfriend for doing stuff ... riding my motorcycle. I guess she doesn't think I should."

Hebert says the decision to donate his kidney was personal, to help a friend. But he'd like to see more people become living donors.

"Everybody says, 'Gee, I'd give anything to have him around again,'" he said. "So for people in that situation it's an easy decision. You just give what you got. Now Tom and I will go on bike rides again someday, and he'll be able to carry on with a more normal life. He's not restricted to dialysis three days a week."