Jonah Lomu leaves hospital after kidney failure

All Blacks great Jonah Lomu is pictured before a Italy vs New Zealand match in Milan, on November 14, 2009. Lomu has been discharged from hospital, 16 days after being admitted with kidney failure, a health official said Wednesday

All Blacks great Jonah Lomu has been discharged from hospital, 16 days after being admitted with kidney failure, a health official said Wednesday. "I can confirm that Jonah Lomu was discharged on Monday afternoon, but that's all," Auckland District Health Board spokesman Matt Rogers told AFP. "The family hasn't given us authorisation to comment on what comes now," he said. Lomu was being treated with daily dialysis as doctors at Auckland Hospital's renal unit tried to to repair the kidney that was donated to him by friend and New Zealand radio broadcaster Grant Kereama. Days after featuring in the Rugby World Cup opening ceremony on September 9, Lomu was rushed to hospital after it "all went pear-shaped", leaving him hot, cold and shivering. "I crashed," he told the New Zealand Women's Weekly magazine. "My kidney was failing and my body had become so toxic it started to shut down," the 36-year-old added. Lomu was diagnosed in 1995 with the rare kidney disorder nephrotic syndrome, and underwent a transplant in 2004, receiving the organ donated by Kereama. Dr Stephen Munn, the clinical director of the district health board's abdominal transplant unit, said that a kidney transplant could fail if there was chronic rejection of the new organ, disease recurrence, or if the patient was not taking their medication. "People can keep going on dialysis for many years, it depends on their age and condition, but survival is better with a functioning transplant," he told AFP. He said there were 600 patients waiting for kidney transplants in New Zealand with an average waiting time of three years. However, Dr Munn said that patients could be denied another transplant if there were other health complications such as heart disease. Lomu, regarded as rugby union's first global superstar, has been based in France in recent times but returned to New Zealand for the World Cup. The former wing rose to prominence with his devastating performances in the 1995 World Cup and also played a major part in New Zealand's 1999 campaign. He still holds the record for most tries at the World Cup, with 15 in total. However his illness eventually cut short his playing career, leaving him with a record of 37 tries in 63 Tests for New Zealand.

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