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Josh and Sarah's story

A sister's dedication to help save her brother

Sarah and Josh sit in front of their lounge room

Sarah, from Sunbury, Victoria, was the primary carer for her brother Josh, who lives with Lupus and as a result, kidney disease. In addition to everyday responsibilities to help Josh manage his conditions, which include taking over 20 medications a day and dialysing three times a week, caring for Josh left Sarah in a constant worry about the life of someone so dear to her.

“Watching him deteriorate and having gone through so many ups and downs, rushes to hospitals for ICU submissions and close tragedies, it’s crushing and incredibly sad. Every day I check that he’s breathing in the morning, make sure he’s had his medication, try to get him to eat. Always having someone that you worry about who is not a child, it’s a different kind of worry, it’s about life or death,” said Sarah.

The biggest challenge for Sarah is trying to be a support system and continue to provide care, comfort and strength for her brother while also trying not to fall apart as she faces her own tragedy of someone she loves slowly deteriorating.

After a long while waiting for a suitable donor, Sarah recently learned she was able to donate her kidney to Josh in December 2020. For Josh, Sarah hopes the transplant will allow him to experience the best thing in life, being in love, and that he can have that throughout this life.

Having experienced a loved one live with a chronic and life-threatening condition, Sarah urges others to never take relationships or health for granted.

“This disease has provided Josh and myself the opportunity to grow a bond beyond brother and sister and I will be forever grateful, although my message to others would be to not wait for the hand of tragedy to strengthen your loving relationships - now is the only time you have. Your health is your only asset and without it you will lose everything.”

Josh and Sarah have now celebrated their two-year kidney-versary and Josh is eternally grateful for Sarah's generosity.

Watch Josh and Sarah's story on Sunrise