A YOUNG woman who endured two decades of kidney dialysis has died after stopping the treatment that could have kept her alive for another 10 years.
Sandra Dewar (36) died from renal failure last Friday after making the heart-breaking decision to end all medical treatment.
The tragic care worker from Perth kept the fateful decision secret from her friends and family for days so they could not try to change her mind.
Sandra, who has spent much of the last year hospital-bound, was warned by doctors there was little chance that she would get home after turning dialysis off.
Sandra, who in 2008 received a kidney transplant which her body rejected, passed away at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.
Paying an emotional tribute to his sister, her younger brother William said Sandra was a great daughter, sister and aunt who loved fashion, make up, and going out dancing with friends.
The 31-year-old said parents Jeanette and James, stepfather Freddie and sister Jeanette (35), were still trying to come to terms with their loss.
He said: “She could have lived up to another 10 years on the dialysis but we would have suffered a great deal.
“Obviously we were very upset when we found out as we didn’t want to lose her but we all respected her decision and knew we would not be able to change her mind.
“It helps to know she is now at peace and there will be no more needles or operations.
“She battled bravely, for a long time and will never be forgotten.”
Sandra was diagnosed with a life-threatening kidney disorder at just 13. She completed her education at Perth High School and began work at a care home.
At 19 she began dialysis but when her health started to deteriorate she was forced to give up her job as a care worker.
She underwent a kidney transplant in 2008, but unfortunately her body rejected its new organ.
“She nearly died a number of times after the transplant and was gravely ill but she fought back.
“She endured so many operations over the years and always kept positive.
“She loved life and was really sociable and outgoing – when she was fitter she enjoyed northing more than going out dancing with her many friends.
“We are a really close family and all spent a lot of time together. She was a great daughter, sister and aunt.
“When I was younger she was someone I looked up to and I have so much admiration for her.
“Even if she wasn’t my sister, I would admire the person she was and what she dealt with. She was extremely courageous. I would not have been able to last as long with that kind of illness.”
William, who is a father of one, decided to get a tattoo of his sisters name on his arm, two days after she died.
He said it was a “spur of the moment” decision, and means she will now be with him wherever he goes.
A funeral service was held for Sandra at Perth Crematorium today and family and friends have been asked to wear bright colours.
Sandra also picked a selection of her favourite music to be played.
Donations will be taken for Tayside Kidney Foundation and people will be urged to sign up to the organs donor register.
William added: “We really want to promote organ donation as I know Sandra definitely would not want to see anyone suffer the way she did.
“The waiting list is so long for organs and some people aren’t lucky enough to get one before its too late. We want to encourage anything that could help others.”