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A kidney transplant made Edwin’s life-saving work very personal

Since his successful kidney transplant a year ago, being part of a team that delivers Life Science solutions to customers worldwide has become very personal for Getinge’s Edwin van der Ree.

“Getinge’s Life Science solutions enable safe and efficient research and development of medicines and vaccines. Knowing that the anti-rejection medicines I take may have been developed in a safe and efficient way with the help of products like ours has for sure given my workdays a new dimension. It is easier to really identify with people who need medicines to live a healthy life,” Edwin says.

His health started to fail about three years ago. Cysts growing on both of Edwin’s kidneys reduced their efficiency more and more. The father of two from Delft, who was used to a fast pace both privately and in his work at Getinge’s Applikon factory in the Netherlands, became weaker as the situation worsened.

“A year ago, when my kidney function was down to only 15-20 percent, the need for a transplant was a fact. Luckily, my wife was a matching donor and willing to give me one of her kidneys,” he explains.

Going through the transplant together with his wife was a truly emotional and life-changing event for Edwin.

“My illness, our transplant, and the joy of getting my life back again were like being on a rollercoaster. I think everyone who has made a similar journey agrees that life perspectives change.”

While Edwin got his energy back rapidly, it was tougher for his wife’s body to adjust to living with just one kidney.

“It seems a bit unfair that the recovery can be easier for the one that gets than the one who gives,” he says. “But fortunately she also made a full recovery in the end.”

Two months after the surgery, Edwin was fit enough for a comeback in his role as responsible for inbound and outbound logistics at former Applikon. This world leader in advanced bioreactor systems enables safe development and production of medicines and vaccines for the pharma industry. Applikon became part of Getinge in 2020.

“I have always been proud of what I do, but the personal connection to the medicines and vaccines our bioreactors help to develop, is much stronger after my own experiences. They help bringing science to life,” he concludes.

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