Ex-Dundee star Kevin McDonald has revealed he has suffered from kidney disease for 14 years – and now needs a transplant.
The Fulham ace – whose illness first came to light in 2008 medical as part of his move to Burnley from the Dark Blues – hopes to have surgery next month in a bid to avoid being placed on dialysis.
McDonald, 32, has known he would eventually need a transplant for the past 12 years.
The Carnoustie-born midfielder – who hasn’t appeared for Scott Parker’s side this season and is coaching at the English Premier League club – accepts his playing career could be over.
🤞"If we can get a match – the person that ends up doing it – I'll owe my life to them."
Scotland & Fulham midfielder Kevin McDonald exclusively reveals he’s been playing for over a decade with kidney disease.
The 32-year-old now needs a transplant that could end his career. pic.twitter.com/jb1VR15XfO
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) March 2, 2021
He told Sky Sports: “Over the years, my kidney function has got worse. That’s what happens as part of the disease, it gets worse over time.
“We hoped I could get through my football career, then have a kidney transplant at the end of it but, unfortunately, it’s not happened.
“I’ve got one kidney that doesn’t work at all and one kidney that’s about 10 per cent now.
“I’ve been playing with stage 1, to now stage 5 kidney disease, which is chronic kidney disease, kidney failure.
“Now we’re speaking up on this because a lot of people have been asking me, ‘Why are you not going out on loan, why are you not playing, why are you going into coaching so early?’.
“It’s hard to digest but football is second priority now. My life, my family, my friends are number one, with my health even on top of that.
“That’s where we’re at now and we’ve just got to get on with it.”
McDonald made his full Dundee debut at Glebe Park against Brechin as a 17-year-old back in 2005.
Since leaving Dens Park – three years after his senior bow – McDonald has also played for Scunthorpe United (loan), Notts County (loan), Sheffield United and Wolves.
‘I want it done, I want it to get back to normal life’
The ex-Dee – who has racked up over 500 career appearances and five caps for the national team – said: “In terms of the transplant, I’ve always been relaxed about it.
“I have trust in my kidney team, I always have done, as well as doctors at my football clubs.
“Wolves and Fulham especially, have been top drawer in terms of taking care of me.
We're all behind you, Kev. 🤍#FFC
— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) March 2, 2021
“That’s always reassured me and now meeting the surgeon and talking to him, I have even more confidence in him to do the surgery, which is major surgery.
“It has to be done, whether it’s now, at the end of the year, in 10 years, it has to be done at some point.
“The way my mind is now, I want it done, I want to get back to normal life.
“I take 10 tablets a day so I want to get back to normal life and hopefully it will soon be like that.
“I’ve always been in the boat of, ‘Let’s go on as long as we can, at the best level we can’.
“I go off the doctor’s advice and my kidney team’s advice. If they said to me, ‘Listen, you have to retire tomorrow’, I’d be done.”