Mother donates kidney to save son's life

10 Mar 2022 07:50am
Adam bin Ahmad Saufi with his mother, Zainab binti Talib
Adam bin Ahmad Saufi with his mother, Zainab binti Talib

There's a saying that goes “only a mother can sacrifice and smile both at the same time”.

This rings true for Zainab Talib, who gave her son, Adam Ahmad Saufi a second chance at life through a kidney donation.

Back in 2008, Zainab made the selfless decision to become a kidney donor for her son, Adam who was diagnosed with stage four chronic kidney disease (CKD), at the young age of 22.

The disease had resulted in kidney failure for both kidneys.

At that point in time, Zainab was willing to do anything to save her son’s life.

"I couldn't see my son sleeping everyday with his body attached to machines and going through dialysis.

“I have four children. One of my children had already passed away and I was not ready to lose another one, so as a mother I was prepared to give up anything to save Adam," said Zainab.

Fortunately, there was light at the end of the tunnel as Zainab was a match for the kidney transplant.

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However, the journey that followed suit was nothing short of challenges.

"It's not that easy to donate a kidney, we waited nearly six years in order for me to be a fit donor cleared from all diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and blood pressure.

"We also had to wait a long time as the operation theatre in Hospital Kuala Lumpur was always full. Eventually we were sent to Hospital Selayang instead,” she said.

Zainab added, with God's grace, the kidney transplant procedure was successfully done at Hospital Selayang in 2015.


Adam spent half of his life going through treatments and dialysis due to his health condition, but was only made aware of the kidney failure after a visit to a doctor, where he went to get his swollen legs checked, following a night of playing futsal.

Despite his health condition, Adam was very much active in sports activities like swimming and football. At the time, he was in the midst of completing his bachelor’s degree at the International Islamic University Malaysia.

Suffering from CKD did not deter his spirit to complete his studies.

Because of his fighting spirit, he was able to graduate with two Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture and now at 36, he is a successful architect.


For Adam it took about a month for full recovery process while on medication, while for Zainab, it took her less than 14 days to get back on her feet.

Zainab said that she did not experience any changes to her health after donating her kidney to Adam.

However, she makes sure to eat healthy meals and exercise mildly. At the age of 64, she is healthy and in good condition.

Adam said the only reason he is here today is because of the unconditional love from his mother, and the support received from his family and friends.

Zainab added, "One shouldn’t be afraid to become a kidney donor as long as you’re healthy, and you are a good fit,” she said.