When Dale Fisher was signed up for a chance health check at his work, little did he know it would end up saving his life.
For it led the 27-year-old dad to discover he was living on the brink of death with chronic kidney disease.
The builder’s kidneys were functioning at just 15 per cent of their capacity – compared to the normal 90 per cent for his age – and he will now have to undergo a kidney transplant within two years.
Mr Fisher, of Queen Elizabeth Avenue, Gaywood, said the diagnosis had come as a major shock.
“I had no clue anything was wrong with me at all,” he said.
“But if I hadn’t have had the health check, I might not even be here now.”
The medical test organised for employees of the building site in Cambridge was held last month.
“It was voluntary and I wasn’t even going to have it done, but my site supervisor booked me in,” he said.
The check revealed high blood pressure, which is a symptom of kidney disease, and Mr Fisher was told to see his GP as soon as possible.
He made an appointment and had a blood test – and just hours later he was undergoing tests at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Mr Fisher said: “The doctor phoned me with the blood test results and told me I needed to go to hospital straight away. I knew then it must be pretty serious.”
He spent seven days at the QEH, before being transferred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, where a biopsy revealed his antibodies were attacking his kidneys.
Mr Fisher is now back at work, and taking medication to prevent his blood pressure from causing further damage to his kidneys.
He also faces further tests and has been told he will require a kidney transplant within the next two years.
Mr Fisher, who lives with his partner Kelly Back and their daughter Leoni, two, had been due to attend a Land Rover show in Peterborough with fellow members of the Mudmuncher 4x4 club just days after the health check.
He said: “The doctors said I could have only had days left to live if we hadn’t have found out.
“They said if I had gone to the show, with the extra eating and drinking, that I probably wouldn’t be here now.”
In the wake of his diagnosis, Mudmuncher members decided to rally together and organise a fundraiser in Mr Fisher’s honour.
They held a charity ‘pay ‘n’ play’ truck event at Freethorpe, near Great Yarmouth, earlier this month and raised a bumper £1,244.34 for Kidney Research UK.
Mudmuncher founder Tim Wedlake, who runs the Tydd Gote-based club with partner Sue Jackson, said Mr Fisher’s diagnosis came as a huge surprise to everyone.
“He’s always been fit and healthy, you’d never have known anything was wrong,” he said.
“Him and his dad are well-liked members of the club and we wanted to do something to help.”
He said the charity event at Freethorpe was a huge success and the club had been “overwhelmed” by everyone’s generosity.