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It began with a feeling of queasiness. I knew something was wrong, although not quite wrong enough to feel serious. In a few days, the queasiness became nausea. In a week, it became the most overpowering nausea I had ever experienced. In a few weeks, I was taken to hospital and told that my kidneys had failed completely.

Around 63,000 people in the UK undergo treatment for kidney failure. Around 30,000 people, including me, are kept alive by a machine filtering our blood. Dialysis is a lifesaver, but also physically and mentally gruelling. …

Alex Taylor