After being diagnosed with kidney failure, John Bass underwent six months of dialysis treatment before finally getting a kidney transplant. He credits God and Dr. B.L Kapur Multi of the Super Specialty Hospital in New Delhi, India and his donor Vincent Paul Mendy for the honor of being able to do so.
These days, he’s not playing football. He is at home and enjoys spending time laughing and discussing football matters with friends.
Before the laughter however, his life was filled with tears as he battled kidney failure in 2018.
“I was seeing some symptoms on my body that I couldn’t understand. Swollen feet, dry spit, weakness, less urine and I easily got tired and my body was always warm. It all started when I was preparing for the FA cup final against Gambia Armed forces,” the Brikama United center-back explains to The Chronicle.
Meanwhile, it was during one of John’s sleepless nights that John went to his native Lamin Health Center where he was advised to go for further checkup and scanning to either MRC or the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul. Worried and scared, he hurried to Banjul immediately.
“When I reached at the EFSTH in Banjul, the doctor took one look at me and said ‘It’s your kidneys.’ When the doctor was talking to me, I felt like I had been covered in a shell. It was like if I was removed from the situation and the world was going up-side down.’’
“I had an infection in one kidney. I went through a lot of tests and saw different doctors. They all recommended oversea medical treatment. My mother was with me through the entire process.”
However, while some Kidney failure rates continue to climb, medical treatments are also advancing, providing more patients with the hope and resources they need to battle the disease.
‘’At the beginning, John was worried because he had no money to travel for overseas treatment. His social media manager then posted about his disease on Facebook and appealed for financial support to facilitate his overseas treatment. It went viral, reaching the football federation and the Ministry of health.
He said: ‘’I can remember during that time I was invited to train with the national team for an AFCON qualifier but I couldn’t continue to train with the team. From there, my club Brikama United worked closely with the football federation to facilitate my travel to India’’.
Now that he is recuperating and taking medication, John is considering setting up a Charity Foundation dubbed ‘’John Bass Foundation for Kidney’’. If formed, he will use the foundation to create awareness about kidney failure and encourage the culture of donating kidney.
John Bass was born and raised in Lamin where his career began with Lamin town team before joining Ports Authority and Brikama United. He attracted the love of the coaches when his Daranka United reached the Semi-final of the Lamin nawettan. Though they didn’t win the title, he was certified as the Most Outstanding Player of the Nawettan.
The left-back/ Centre-back later joined the senior national team under the stewardship of Sang Ndong. He also had stints with the Gambian CHAN team.