Norwich City Under-23s striker Shae Hutchinson says he’s looking to come back to training as soon as possible after he recovers from a kidney transplant to combat Alport Syndrome.
Alport Syndrome is a genetic condition mainly affecting the kidneys, progressively causing loss of kidney function. The condition can also affect hearing, eyesight, and energy levels as a result.
Having been diagnosed with Alport Syndrome at just eight-years-old, it’s been a long road to recovery for Hutchinson, who has continued to play football at an elite level throughout his time with the condition.
Speaking on his story of finding out about the potentially life-saving transplant, Hutchinson said he found out in early November that he could have the operation as soon as a month later in December.
“I was at my apartment in Norwich, just playing FIFA at home, then my mum called me. This was on the fifth of November, my mum called me and said I had a match, which I was excited about.
“She said I’d have to go in to do blood tests and then if the results from that were positive, then it would all go through on the 14th of December. I was happy, but I wasn’t trying to get my hopes up in case it didn’t go well!
“I ended up doing my blood tests on the 16th of November, that was a Monday. They said I’d get my results on the Thursday, but then they asked me to come in on the Wednesday, just for a double check-up.
“After my results on Wednesday, I got a call straightaway as soon as I got home, and they said it was a match and it would go through on the 14th.”
This wasn’t his first kidney transplant either. Hutchinson’s father donated his kidney to him back in 2019 but unfortunately, it didn’t have the success they’d hoped for.
But Hutchinson said thanks to that, he knew he’d get through his second.
“I knew for a fact that I’d be able to get through it again, that’s one thing. I was confident that I’d be able to go through it and be fine this time and I know what I’m doing because I’d been through it already.
“I felt a bit more comfortable than the first time; I just had my fingers crossed that it would work this time and I wouldn’t need another one in God knows how long.”
Asked if the transplant has changed his outlook on both life and football, Hutchinson admitted that it hasn’t been an easy experience, but remaining positive was key in his journey.
“Life’s not easy to go through, there’s ups and downs, but as long as you stay strong and positive, you can get through anything.
“That’s what I’ve done, stayed strong and positive, had support from the club, my friends, family, everyone. My teammates text me, ‘how are you?’ Even small things like that is good.”
Finally, Hutchinson says that now all he wants to do is get back on the training pitch and back to playing as soon as his self-isolation period is over.
“As soon as I finish this isolation, I want to get straight back to building myself up and getting ready for the season and getting back on that pitch.
“I’m proud of the boys, they’re doing well. I was with them at the beginning of the season, everyone is doing well, so I’m happy, I can’t wait to get back.”